After-school club faces closure

PUBLISHED: 13:39 21 February 2008 | UPDATED: 21:23 31 May 2010

Anne Hall, the retiring coordinator, with the children Picture: MICHAEL BOYTON

Anne Hall, the retiring coordinator, with the children Picture: MICHAEL BOYTON

A BREAKFAST and after-school club will be forced to close unless a new manager can be found. The Abington Community Out of School Club, based in the annex at the bottom of Great Abington Primary School, will close at the end of July if they cannot find a

A BREAKFAST and after-school club will be forced to close unless a new manager can be found.

The Abington Community Out of School Club, based in the annex at the bottom of Great Abington Primary School, will close at the end of July if they cannot find a replacement for their retiring co-ordinator.

Administrator Keitha Bryce-Smith said: "It would be a huge loss to the community if we can't stay open - 65 families rely on us for childcare, not to mention the staff who will no longer have a job!"

The club, open from 7am to 9am and 3pm to 6pm during term time, is a not-for-profit charity that provides wrap-around childcare, before and after school.

"We provide a really valuable service to the community," said Mrs Bruce-Smith. "We do a lot of craftwork with the children; we also have a quiet area, computers and painting equipment.

"The time they spend here is very structured. We have had some glowing reports from Ofsted."

With over 80 children registered with the club and a regular attendance of between 35 and 40 children at every session, there is a demand for the service that is still growing.

The club charges for attendance, but all the profits are ploughed back into improving their facilities.

Established six years ago, the club is run by one of the founding members Anne Hall, but she is now looking to retire.

"Anne has kindly agreed to stay on until we have found a suitable replacement, but we have been looking for a new coordinator since November 2006. After 14 months we have decided to set a deadline of March 20 - if we haven't recruited someone by then the club will close on the last day in the summer term," said Mrs Bruce-Smith.

Letters have now been sent to all the parents whose children attend the club, explaining the situation, and a coffee morning has been arranged for today, Thursday February 21, to discuss the issue.

"There is a real skills shortage of people who are qualified to do this job and we are not receiving much help from Cambridgeshire County Council.

"We are looking for someone who is a level three NVQ play worker, or someone working towards it. The job is a managerial position - someone who can oversee the smooth running of the club and ensure the high standards are maintained."

Anyone who can help should call Mrs Bruce-Smith on 07963 905639.

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