St Michael’s Playgroup in Louth has put out an SOS, needing to raise £40,000 to keep the group going. The setting has been open since the 1970s and is now in need of vital funds to remain open.
The church-owned site currently cares for 40 children, all of whom enjoy the large space available to them and the outdoor play area. The site has previously been used as a dance school and meeting hall for local groups in the community.
Reverend Christine Hawkins, Team Vicar for Louth, has said: “It is a hugely valuable resource and is important for the community of Louth.
“We are doing everything we can to facilitate the longevity of the group.
“Some of the solutions for its future looked bleak. We do not have the financial resources to support the group anymore. We have been able to rent it out to the playgroup at a below-market rate for many years. They want to go into a lease situation.
“But we do not have the resources to do the upgrade.”
The group that runs the setting is partnered with the church in which they are situated.
A local councillor has supported the group in their bid to remain at the setting. Sarah Dodds, Louth ward councillor and county councillor, donated £1000 from a ward councillors’ fund organised by the East Lindsey District Council.
With this donation, the setting has been able to upgrade their software, buying digital systems that enable them to share photos of the children with parents.
Councillor Dodds said: “My children used to be here and I know what a great little playschool it is.
“We need the spaces (in playschool) for our ever growing town and it is vital that we keep the group open.”
The plan is to open a new area for babies aged up to 2 years. Stephanie Read, manager at St Michaels, set up a committee with parents calling for support to keep the setting going.
She said: “It is an opportunity to make a really big community building which can be used, not just for the nursery, but for the whole of the community.”
She urged anyone wishing to pledge support to contact her on 01507 606194 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org