First Choice steps in to help burgled nursery

Old Tree Nursery’s director of performance, Joanne Antcliff (centre) is flanked by First Choice Group directors Carl Bate and John Whitehouse, alongside service users.

Company directors at First Choice Group have helped safeguard the future of a Wolverhampton nursery left devastated by burglars.

Last month, thieves broke-in and stole £1,000 from the safe at Old Tree Nursery in Pendeford.

The organisation, a not for profit project, provides training, education and employment opportunities for people with learning disabilities and poor mental health.

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Moved by the group’s plight, the directors at Cannock based First Choice, John Whitehouse and Carl Bate, have now donated £1,000 to the nursery’s fundraising appeal, launched to try and replace the stolen money.

“Community is at the heart of everything First Choice Group stands for so we feel the dejection and pain of such a callous crime,” said Whitehouse.

“I hope our donation can in some small way help to relieve the heartbreak at Old Tree Nursery and put the smiles back on people’s faces and in their hearts.

“It is a very valuable resource in the community and does a lot of fantastic work to provide people and their families with opportunities they might not otherwise get.”

Bate added: “Old Tree Nursery is a facility which makes a real difference in people’s lives and everyone connected to it should be applauded for the work it does and the contribution it makes to the local community.”

Whitehouse and Bate decided to forsake their traditional annual £1,000 spend on Christmas trees for First Choice’s headquarters and instead donate the money to Old Tree Nursery.

The fundraising appeal has now collected more than £5,000 which means Old Tree can, among other things, provide users and volunteers with a Christmas party.

The nursery’s director of performance, Joanne Antcliff, said: “From the bottom of our hearts we cannot thank First Choice Group enough.

“It means so much to everyone connected with Old Tree Nursery that people like John and Carl want to help us and our members to be successful.”

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