SALISBURY Sea Cadets spent Saturday rowing, bag packing and bucket shaking to raise money for a Salisbury nursery.

The Junior Sea Cadets, Sea Cadets and Royal Marine Cadets were at Tesco in Southampton Road on Saturday from 8am until 4pm, and raised £884 for the John McNeill Opportunity Centre, with money from the sponsored static row still to be collected.

The special needs nursery helps children under five with varying levels of disability and has had its funding dramatically cut over the last four years. The centre relies on fundraising to help it support the 60 children it currently cares for.

Denis Twomey, chairman of the Sea Cadets parents’ association, was part of the Salisbury Opportunity Group in 1986 that decided to fundraise for a purpose-built centre for children with disabilities. He became fundraising secretary and then chairman.

Although he resigned as chairman in the early 90s, he has always kept an interest in the centre and decided to organise some fundraising when he heard about the drastic budget cuts back in February.

He spoke to the cadets, who also wanted to do something to help, and Tesco kindly agreed to let them use the store.

He said: “From my first meeting with Kevin Bowyers of Tesco in February, everybody in the Southampton Road store was totally supportive of our project and the welcome and support we received was second to none.

“We must also thank all the very kind Tesco customers who, despite the recession and difficult times, were so very generous to our cause.”