Fight to stop Badwell SAsh Under Fives closing

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AN under fives group could close after 26 years if it does not find enough children.

The decision on the future of Badwell Ash Under Fives, which has its own building in the village, will be taken at an extraordinary general meeting on Tuesday.

Pre-school leader Charlotte Poole said the problem is that while they currently have 13 youngsters on their books, all but four or five of those will be starting school in September.

“We’re losing such a lot of children who are going to school that we haven’t got enough children to be viable after September,” she said. “We’ve got a beautiful building that many groups would give their right arm for. We’ve thought about extending our hours to bring more people in but we’ve got a deadline by Tuesday.

“Our committee has been doing leaflet drops locally but we need to get the message out.”

One of those doing the leaflet drops is Julie Self, from the neighbouring village of Great Ashfield, whose son Kieron went there and is now at Blackbourne Middle School, while her daughter Daisy, three, is still at the under fives.

She worries that it will close and said: “It will mean having to find somewhere else. “My son went through that pre-school and primary school and I’m really pleased with how he is doing at middle school. I wouldn’t want her to go anywhere else.

“There are other places but it’s so convenient to drop them there.”

Mrs Self said she hopes there are parents in the area who have either not realised the Badwell Ash Under Fives group was there or had not yet thought of sending their youngsters to a pre-school group.

“We won’t give up without a fight,” she promised.

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

The extraordinary general meeting will take place at the group’s building in Badwell Ash at 6.30pm on Tuesday July 17.