RAF Lossiemouth has received £6,000 to construct two new outdoor classrooms to aid out of school care for parents who work on the base.
The air force base’s cash boost from the RAF Benevolent Fund has meant outdoor classrooms – named ‘Ben’s Bothies’ which are shelters provides protection for youngsters from the elements.
These facilities have been equipped with solar panelled lighting and portable heaters to provide comfort in all weather conditions.
Station Commander Group Captain Chris Layden said: “Throughout Covid-19 my team has worked tirelessly with the RAF Lossiemouth Childcare Centre to ensure that all parents on site who needed essential childcare were able to access it.
“The critical connection between our operational output and the ability of Serving parents to secure childcare has never been more visible and moving forwards, RAF Lossiemouth needs its childcare facility to remain fully operational and operate at full capacity”.
Covid-19 restrictions in Scotland have had a significant and enduring impact on all provision of childcare.
Mr Layden added “With children from different schools and ages unable to mix freely in out-of-school care, innovative use of outdoor classrooms has enabled the RAF Lossiemouth Childcare Centre to maintain all its places.
“Ben’s Bothies will ensure all 60 children who go to both Hythehill and St Gerardines Primary Schools a safe place to attend before and after school.”
Air Vice-Marshal Chris Elliot, Controller at the RAF Benevolent Fund, said: “I’m thrilled that we have been able to support the development of the outdoor classrooms at RAF Lossiemouth.
“The pandemic has placed additional pressures on children and young people as well as their parents over the past year, but as we begin to see social distancing measures lifted in Scotland I’m confident the new spaces will prove to be an invaluable asset for the delivery of childcare provision at the station.”
RAF Lossiemouth has a long established and well evidenced heightened reliance upon paid childcare provision to ensure both serving and non-serving parents can remain in their respective workplaces.
Operating at full capacity plus a lengthy waiting list for new registrations, this grant allows the RAF Lossiemouth Childcare Centre to continue to operate at full pre-Covid-19 capacity and honour the contracts of parents who need its services.