HUNDREDS of parents have signed a petition to try to save a valuable children’s club from closing.

Mistley Kids Club, based in Mistley Village Hall, is an after-school and holiday club which more than 400 children use from around the area.

The club, which launched in 1990, looks after children of all ages as well as youngsters with severe disabilities.

It employs about 24 people who are trained to take care of mainstream as well as disabled children.

However, the village hall team has issued the club with a notice to quit while inviting it to offer a new rental agreement.

The notice period is three months.

Nicky Moxey, the club’s secretary, is now trying to get the notice lifted and have “proper discussions” with the village hall committee.

She said: “We were shocked, horrified and disgusted when a decision was forced through at the last village hall meeting that they issued a notice to quit on us.

“Can you imagine what it feels like if you were a parent?

“There is no other venue near us like this as we have a very special environment to meet the needs of disabled children.”

Ms Moxley said the club was instrumental in raising £80,000 of the funding for the improvements to the village hall in 2014.

Funders provided the money to improve key facilities to help support the services provided by Mistley Kids’ Club.

She said the club has continued to pay the fees under the occupational license for the whole of the period through lockdown until the beginning of August, even though the hall was closed and no services could be provided.

She added: “If it closes, the impact on the local economy will be marked.

“Parents will not be able to access child care they rely on to go to work; carers of special needs children, and the children themselves will not be able to get vital respite care and support.”

On Monday, mum Bekki Davies set up an online petition in a bid to save the club which has collected nearly 500 signatures.

The 32-year-old, from Lawford, said the club and its staff have been amazing for her three children over the past few years.

She added: “The village hall has areas for disabled children and there is no other place in the area which does that.”

“I know how much parents rely on the club.”

A statement from the village hall committee said the club has not been asked to leave and the notice was issued to end an existing contract so a new one can be issued.

He said: “After an extensive investigation into funding, Mistley’s ability to maintain the village hall for the future and to address recent losses, it was decided to overhaul some hire contracts contributing to its poor financial performance.

“The village hall management committee has invited the club to propose a new rental amount which would ensure that the village hall can meet its overheads while continuing to provide the club with a venue.”

He added: "We have set aside three months for the review and asked for Kids Club to come back with a proposal at the next meeting. Even if we cannot get agreement within the three months we made it clear that the option to hire the hall is still available to them."

Kids Club currently pays £4.48 per hour, so £17.48 a day during term time, and £47.04 per day during school holidays averaged over a year to £110 per week for both halls and the outside space, this compares with a commercial rate of £20 per hour.

He said: "We remain hopeful that a mutually agreeable rent can be negotiated that is fair to both Kids Club and Mistley Village Hall."

To view the petition visit