"I'm like a pig in muck," says a Sudbury charity chief who has seen her toddler group reach extraordinary heights during the pandemic.

Daniel's Den, based in Harrow Road, has been operating online only since March 17, 2020.

Brent & Kilburn Times: Daniels Den chief Joanna Gordon with assistant Funny BunnyDaniels Den chief Joanna Gordon with assistant Funny Bunny (Image: Nathalie Raffray)

"Covid has catapulted Daniels Den onto another level in a really positive way," says chief executive Joanna Gordon, who has been having a whale of a time operating her online groups with her trusty assistant Funny Bunny.

"All our physical groups are now all online. We do that with under-5s - that can be quite entertaining and we've seen relationships and friendships forming.

"One little boy, when he first came on, screamed for 30 minutes. He was terrified. They had just come to England and never met a white person before, but now he's absolutely beaming."

Brent & Kilburn Times: Daniels Den Big Picnic pre coronavirus in 2019Daniels Den Big Picnic pre coronavirus in 2019 (Image: Joanna Gordon)

The decision was made to stop live sessions on March 17 because a lot of the families were vulnerable.

"On March 17 we did our first Facebook Live and Funny Bunny and I went singing as we really felt families needed to see a familiar face and a familiar voice and we did that every day until July," said Joanna.

Brent & Kilburn Times: A young Daniel's Den customer with his mouse who ran up the clockA young Daniel's Den customer with his mouse who ran up the clock (Image: Joanna Gordon)

"We did over 250 things reaching out to people online during that period. And we just decided to to bring what we would normally do in our sessions into people's home so we developed a whole new programme: Daniels Den at Home."

Funding from the National Lottery community fund which enabled Daniel's Den to buy and create 120 craft packs containing a book to work from, Play-Doh, crayons and a glue stick. The charity sends them out by post or distributes them through its seven different venues.

Brent & Kilburn Times: Contents of a Daniels Den craft packContents of a Daniels Den craft pack (Image: Joanna Gordon)

"Because we are a small charity we are very agile and up to learning new things. I'm like a pig in muck online. We've been to the beach and to the farm, we've been to Lapland and Bethlehem, all on Zoom. To be fair we've had a bit of a blast."

The charity has suffered losses, with a much-loved volunteer dying from Covid, and experienced joy, with some 15 babies born to families in the last year.

From March 20 to 26 it is doing a singalongathon to raise vital funds.

To donate visit justgiving.com/campaign/singalongathon