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Families' fear over kids' club closure
3:00pm Friday 13th September 2013 in News
PARENTS fear a “lifeline” could be lost when a kids’ club closes in December.
Highwoods Kids’ Club will close at the end of the year because the committee which runs it has stepped down and no new volunteers have come forward.
The club, which is run out of, but not by, Highwoods Community Primary School, offers about 40 families in north Colchester primary schools a breakfast club, an after school club and a holiday club.
Parents were told of the closure by letter this week.
Mum Veronica Ping, 57, whose son Jack, 12, goes to the club, said: “Parents are up in arms. It is nothing to do with funding.
“It is a lifeline for so many parents and we don’t know why it’s closing.”
Jack, who goes to Kingswode Hoe special school, in Lexden, has learning difficulties and suffers from ADHD and anger issues.
Despite the family living off Berechurch Hall Road, and therefore not in the normal catchment area, Jack was welcomed into the club.
Miss Ping added: “Jack loves it there and all the mums think it is brilliant.
“They have been so accommodating and it’s such a shame to hear it might not be around after Christmas.”
The decision was taken by the committee at the club annual general meeting on August 23, when no volunteers came forward to form a new committee.
The existing committee, of three people, had already announced they were going to step down.
Nigel Hookway, head at the Tyndale Square school, said: “We are purely the landlords for Highwoods Kids’ Club.
“We are already looking at making new provision for January 2014.”
Mr Hookway added because the school is an academy it does not need to go to tender and can simply choose a childcare provider and a decision could be made on Tuesday.
He added: “There will be childcare provision in the new year, it could be that it could take a different state but it will be there.
“It is all rather unfortunate for all the families involved and we want to find the best solution for them.”
Catherine Martin, a member of the kids’ club committee which took over the club more than two years ago, said: “Parents should see no break in childcare.”
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