A VILLAGE pub has shown it is truly at the heart of its local community by raising £820 for the local pre-school.

The Red Lion Pub in Exbourne raised the funds through numerous fundraising events including pub quizzes, real ale festivals and an outrageously funny and popular village pantomime — Cinderella — performed by Village Idiot Productions in December.

Landlord Nick Hamlyn presented the cheque to children, staff and parents from the pre-school at the pub last Thursday.

After the presentation, staff and children visited North Tawton Fire Station to be shown the fire engine and rescue equipment by firefighters Richard and Colin.

Exbourne Pre-School will use the money to buy a new handwashing unit for the children, as well as new outdoor wheeled vehicles.

Nikki Kearley, the pre school's manager, said: 'The new handwashing unit is really important to us, and will allow the children to wash their hands with warm water.

'One of the points in our last Ofsted inspection was that the handwashing needed addressing, and now thanks to the generosity of local people, we have been able to make this improvement.'

The Red Lion Pub raised a total of £2,690 last year for charitable causes ranging from the pre-school to a Bulgarian orphanage, the Devon Air Ambulance, Exbourne Playing Field Association, Help for Heroes and the Adam Stansfield Foundation.

Nick Hamlyn said: 'As the village pub we want to be at the heart of the community, and helping local organisations is a key part of that.

'It helps keep vital services in the village, and of course it also helps bring new custom into the pub.

'It's always really good to see new people getting involved in their local community.'

The pub's next real ale festival will be held over the May bank holiday weekend from Friday April 29 to Monday May 2.

The pre-school has places available for children from two years, and you can email [email protected]">[email protected] or visit http://www.exbournepreschool.co.uk">www.exbournepreschool.co.uk for further information.

Alternatively, telephone

07583 058049.