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£1,300raised of £1,750 target by 58 supporters

Weʼre raising £1,750 to fulfil Fawzia's dream and give the children at Albany Montessori a fabulous mud kitchen AND A RETRACTABLE AWNING!!!

St Albans, UK

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UPDATE!!! And a new challenge!

Dear all

Wow!! The response to my mud kitchen idea has been absolutely amazing; a HUGE THANK YOU to those of you who have made a gift. Fawzia and Tim are slightly in shock – and over the moon!

A number of people have asked if it’s still worth making a gift now that we have reached the original target of £250. The answer is an enormous YES PLEASE!!! On consultation with Fawzia and Tim, our first thought was to put any additional funds towards accessories for the kitchen, but then Beauty had the great idea of our all contributing old pots, pans and kitchen utensils for the children to use, rather than our buying new. So this means that any additional funds can instead be put towards one of the many long-term projects that Fawzia and Tim are slowly saving towards. The most important of these is the installation of a retractable awning so that the outside space at Albany can be used in all weather. An awning will cost a great deal – approximately £3,000 – and will need the green light from the Sea Cadets, who might share the expenditure. However, discussions are in very early stages, so the extra £165 that you’ve so kindly given will need be put aside into a designated “retractable awning pot” pending the outcome of those discussions.

Although…. thinking out loud here…. Wouldn’t it be amazing if we could raise Albany’s half of the cost of the awning ourselves?! We’ve raised over £400 in less than seven hours… Could we raise another £1300?!

If you haven’t done so already, please do make a gift. If you’ve already given but love the idea of the awning, please do consider giving again! If any grandparents, godparents, aunts, uncles, colleagues might be interested then do ask them to contribute – every pound will help!

Please click on the purple button to make a gift!

With huge excitement, warmest wishes and many thanks

Sophia xx

PS Just to clarify: if you’ve given, your child’s name will go on the mud kitchen, regardless of whether or not your gift has been made after the original £250 target has been reached.


Dear mums, dads and carers – all who make up our wonderful Albany Montessori community

We all have our own different reasons for entrusting our children to the care of Fawzia and Tim and their team. I know most of us feel passionate about the nursery and incredibly grateful to the staff for the unstinting care they give.

So I am writing to share our story and ask for your help.

Last September, our daughter, Liana, began her first term at Albany. It was a difficult time at home and stress levels were sky high. We were in the middle of a disastrous house renovation and living in temporary accommodation. Liana didn’t settle and was very distressed from the start. Fawzia, with her customary wisdom and gentleness, suggested we delay until January and drop in during the September term for a little play or a bit of lego time, so Liana could get used to the nursery environment. We did this; Liana was made incredibly welcome each time we came, and in January, our baby girl skipped into the Sea Cadets Hall full of confidence and smiles. She hasn’t looked back. Our gratitude to Fawzia and the staff for this gentle, sensitive, slow start is enormous.

So, since then, I’ve been thinking about what I could do to say thank you… I wanted to give something concrete to the nursery…. Something that would last, something that would be wonderful fun and of use to the children who come after ours…

And about a month ago, I found out that Fawzia has always wanted a mud kitchen! I chatted with a few other mums to get a feel for my idea and, after lots of thinking and designing and brainstorming, we are now ready to go. The father of a St Albans mum is making us a beautiful double mud kitchen (twice the size of the one in the photo above), with two extra big sinks and four hobs, which will be ready for the beginning of the September term.

It would be so lovely for this to be a gift from all of us. We plan to paint across the front of the kitchen: “To Albany Montessori from the parents and carers of:” and then add the names of all the children whose parents have contributed. Fawzia has chosen a dark green kitchen, with a purple trim – very Wimbledon!

Each of us has our own reasons to be grateful to the staff and to Fawzia and Tim and we all show that gratitude in different ways. This project in no way takes the place of the end-of-term thank you envelope for the staff’s summer party. But if you would like your little one’s name to be painted in purple on the Albany Montessori mud kitchen, to inspire generations of Montessori children to make delicious mud dishes for all the staff to enjoy, AND to make Fawzia's dream come true, then please click on the "Donate" button and contribute.

We have £250 to raise!

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Sophia Hermens

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    Page last updated on: 7/13/2018 11:03 AM



    • Sophia


      Jul 13, 2018

      What a wonderful community. So proud to be a part of this. ❤️


    • Eva Brandysova

      Eva Brandysova

      Jul 13, 2018


    • Fred Tromp

      Fred Tromp

      Jul 13, 2018

      Thanks for an incredible year Albany Montessori! Alex had a blast and will visit soon!

    • Nita Lota

      Nita Lota

      Jul 13, 2018

      Who doesn't like mud and a bit of shade? Heartfelt thanks to the Albany Family, staff and parents for all the warmth and kindness. Benjamin is already looking forward to his visit back!


    • Philippa (Noah FGs mummy)

      Philippa (Noah FGs mummy)

      Jul 12, 2018

      Brilliant idea!

    • Harj


      Jul 12, 2018

      Dear Sophia, What a lovely idea xHarj and Lucia Wells

    • Lucy Holloway

      Lucy Holloway

      Jul 12, 2018

      donation for Lucy Holloway (and Katherine who will be starting in 2019)

    Sophia Hermens

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    About the fundraiser
    Sophia Hermens

    Sophia Hermens

    St Albans, UK

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