Collingwood baking is a real treat

THERE WAS a pleasant array of sweet treats awaiting trainees recently when parents from HMS Collingwood’s on-site nursery held a Bake Sale to raise funds on Valentine’s Day (February 14).

There were cupcakes, brownies, and other tasty treats galore, with personnel all keen to brighten up a rainy Monday morning by enjoying a little sweet indulgence! The sale was the first of a series of planned fund-raising events that are returning to Collingwood after COVID restrictions over the last two years had sadly curtailed them.

Overseeing the sale of baked goods were Lieutenant Commander Marie Whitehouse and Petty Officer Fran Boreham from the Woodentots Nursery’s Parents’ Association, who were keen to highlight the generosity of association in the past. Previously, the WPSA had helped the nursery buy additional outdoor garden furniture and equipment for the children to enjoy during garden time and also helped with the cost of outings for the children and their families.

Last year the nursery hosted animals from the New Forest’s Longdown Activity Farm, giving the children the opportunity to get “hands-on” with llamas, rabbits, donkeys, and goats and learn about their care and upkeep, something many of them had missed out on due to enforced Covid-19 restrictions.

The nursery caters for children aged from 3 months to 5 years and is open to all staff on-site, civilian or military. It provides a calm and homely atmosphere, allowing children to learn and experience new activities in a safe and supportive environment. Lt Cdr Marie Whitehouse was keen to stress the benefits to the families too. She said, “The nursery is pretty unique in having its own Parents’ Association.

The WPSA is all about providing opportunities for the whole family and easing the burden of loneliness associated with military deployments. Lots of parents arrive here not knowing anyone but are very soon part of our bigger community thanks to the events that we organise.”

PICTURED BY KEITH WOODLAND: Trainees enjoy a cake treat at HMS Collingwood (crown copyright)