Businesses come to aid of under 5s

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AN under fives group that was threatened with closure after 26 years has been saved by cash from local companies.

Badwell Ash Under Fives faced a drop in numbers from 13 to about five when the new school year starts in September and, as we reported on July 13, feared it would have to close.

But all that changed at an extraordinary general meeting on Tuesday night. Group secretary Jennie Jarvis said: “It all seemed to come together. We have got money to help us keep going. Local businesses have been willing to help us.

“We’re not there completely and still have a lot more fund- raising to do but we will definitely be opening in September.

“The story in the Bury Free Press helped us a lot because when we went to local people they said they had seen something about it.”

The group is also planning to expand its services by offering afternoon sessions and lunch clubs and opening longer to make it more useful for working parents.

Mrs Jarvis’ own child leaves in September, but she is determined to help it carry on: “I remember people helping in the community.

“The community is the school, the shop, the pub and when things like this dwindle away you have nothing left in the village.

“At the moment we have no three-year-olds. I think the reason for that was the recession which meant people couldn’t afford to have children so we’re getting the shortfall now, but after Christmas we will have more children coming along.”

She said the community’s support will mean the group will still be there to meet the need when those children are old enough to attend.

For more information about Badwell Ash Under Fives, call 0754 6298752