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Parents skimp and save to launch East End school’s first fete

PUBLISHED: 11:46 15 July 2008 | UPDATED: 13:26 05 October 2010

MUMS and dads in one of the most deprived neighbourhoods of London’s East End have managed to scrape the cash together to hold the first ever summer fair for their kids’ school on Saturday... even though most are out of work.

The parents at Poplar’s Culloden Nursery and Infant school went out canvassing for donations from shops in the Aberfeldy housing estate and even tapped the bank

Mike Brooke

MUMS and dads in one of the most deprived neighbourhoods of London's East End have managed to scrape the cash together to hold the first ever summer fair for their kids' school on Saturday... even though most are out of work.

The parents at Poplar's Culloden Nursery and Infant school went out canvassing for donations from shops in the Aberfeldy housing estate and even tapped the bank.

"Most of the children are on free school dinners," explained one mum, Therese Ta, whose four-year-old son Shakil is in the nursery class.

"So you can appreciate most families are either unemployed or in the lowest income bracket.

"That includes families with English as a second language and children with special educational needs.

"Our budget was very limited, but through our fundraising we've managed to get enough to hire a bouncy castle as well as ingredients for food items, prizes for stalls, balloons and leaflets for the fete."

There were no funds available from the school-and little parent participation.

But things turned round when a group of active parents put the word out and volunteers came forward.

The school's Parents Association has been holding regularly meetings to allocate tasks including fundraising.

Members have been calling on shops for donations, from the local grocer's to the pub on the corner and the chip shop.

Some went to businesses along the East India Dock Road and even wrote to Poplar's MP Jim Fitzpatrick.

"Without exception, they gave donations," added Theresa. "Now the children can have a day to remember and a school they can be proud of, regardless of their social background."

The parents, who have also raised funds through Barclays and the Leabank Project, are giving up their time on Saturday to run the stalls.; So are the teachers.

Culloden Nursery and Infant school's summer fete in Dee-street, Poplar, runs from 12 noon to 3pm.

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