FAMILIES of youngsters at a north Durham nursery have raised more than £3,200 to pay for a soft play room.

The new facility at Oxhill Nursery School, near Stanley, has just been unveiled and was installed over the summer break.

The money was raised by family and friends of pupils with fun runs held over two days before the holidays.

About 200 children did laps of a 200m track set up around the school grounds.

Headteacher Cath Hughes said: “We were just hoping for a contribution but the money raised has paid for it all. It is fantastic. The response from parents has been overwhelming. It was a fantastic couple of days.”

The school has up to 250 pupils aged two to four and is the biggest in County Durham.

Ofsted inspectors rated it good in all areas following an inspection in March.

The new soft play room is an extension of the sensory room.

Mrs Hughes said: “It gives children the chance to explore their spatial awareness in a safe environment. Physical development underpins their future education and is one of the areas in the early years foundation stage.

“If you focus on the prime areas everything else follows, like motor skills such as holding pens and handwriting.”