RAF Spadeadam have joined forces with Brampton Community Centre and Brampton Junior School to support a vital childcare project.

In March 2021, Wing Commander Matt Lawrence, Station Commander at RAF Spadeadam, presented a cheque to Brampton & Beyond Community Trust – who run both community centre and its nursery – as part of a joint project to develop the centre’s existing ‘wraparound’ childcare.

RAF Spadeadam, whose families live in Brampton and go to the local schools, have joined forces with both Brampton & Beyond Community Trust and Brampton Junior School to build on the existing children’s nursery in the community centre.

The facility has delivered, both to local and armed forces parents, an ‘all-day’ service for children from birth to 14 years for several years and has ambitious plans to further improve the area and the service they provide.

The formal link with Brampton Junior School will allow for ‘cross training’ and it is hoped that by offering a more comprehensive childcare cover, more parents will choose to send their children to the school.

Brampton Junior School headteacher, Richard Clark, said: “Local wraparound care for our pupils is crucial for many of our parents. Without such a service many parents would find it almost impossible to continue a career or work full-time.

“We look forward to working closely with Brampton Community Centre and RAF Spadeadam to support a flexible and high-quality provision for our children.”

When service personnel are ‘posted’ into the area they are often substantial distances from the support of extended family so without the ‘all day’ local childcare they would be unable to deliver their role and when deployed overseas their partners would be forced to leave their employment.

In recognition of the key role that all-day childcare plays in supporting military personnel, RAF Spadeadam supported the community centre in its successful bid to the Ministry of Defence’s ‘Directorate of Children and Young People’ which awarded the centre a grant of £24,000.

Wing Commander Matt Lawrence said: “We are delighted to be joining forces with Brampton Community Centre and Brampton Junior School as we all have a shared interest in the provision of a quality childcare service to both the local and the military community.

“Local affordable childcare plays a vital role in supporting service personnel and the criticality of this is reinforced by the size of the grant that was awarded by the Directorate of Children and Young People”.

The chairman of Brampton & Beyond Community Trust, James Porter, said: “We are delighted to be working closely with RAF Spadeadam and Brampton Primary School to provide quality nursery and early years care and learning for forces and local families living in Brampton and surrounding rural areas.

“I thank the Ministry of Defence for their commitment and support.”