After-school club in survival fight

PUBLISHED: 13:03 01 February 2008 | UPDATED: 11:40 29 April 2010

GETTING THE MESSAGE ACROSS: Youngsters at Emneth Primary School are seeking ways to save their Afterschool club. Picture: BRIAN PURDY

GETTING THE MESSAGE ACROSS: Youngsters at Emneth Primary School are seeking ways to save their Afterschool club. Picture: BRIAN PURDY

SHOCKED parents and children were told on Tuesday that their After-school club is to close. Staff running the club at Emneth Primary School were forced to break the news after learning there is just six weeks left before funding runs out. Unless numbers i

SHOCKED parents and children were told on Tuesday that their After-school club is to close.

Staff running the club at Emneth Primary School were forced to break the news after learning there is just six weeks left before funding runs out.

Unless numbers increase substantially the club will close on March 20 leaving three staff without jobs and parents forced to make alternative arrange­ments.

The club is appealing through the Standard for more parents to use the facility which started four years ago and has been a lifeline for many families.

"If parents rally round and numbers increase then things could change," said Diane Brown, who has been running the club since it started.

"The children were really upset when I told them and I was nearly in tears. I really felt for the children because they have got used to us and they feel safe and that is very important."

The club is based in a mobile and sessions, costing £5.50 per child, run until 6pm. Tuesday and Wednesday are the busiest days with about 11 youngsters attending - but on other days numbers have dropped to just six.

Mrs Brown said: "It was obvious numbers were getting low but this has still come as a shock. The club is excellent value, the children can use all the school facilities, they are given a snack and they get a chance to join in lots of activities with other children.

"I think if people are made aware of what is happening then we could get more children."

Head teacher Ken Rickard said: "It is a sad day for us but the club has never been self-supporting and numbers have fallen since the summer.

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