Parents step in as the Oaks kids club closes

Oaks After School Club, Children's Centre, Hailsham, May 3rd 2013 E19011P
Oaks After School Club, Children's Centre, Hailsham, May 3rd 2013 E19011P

Parents have stepped in and set up an after school club after the East Sussex County Council-run service their children used closed down.

After weeks of trying to save the Oaks After School Club on Dunbar Drive from closure , some parents who use the club have taken on the challenge of opening another new club as a business to stop themselves and other parents from losing the service.

The Oaks After School Club, which has a 24 children attending, will close tomorrow at the end of the academic year.

This is due to the council announcing they needed the building for a different purpose.

Sarah Spicer, who has worked tirelessly to save the service, has decided to try and save the facility by starting her own business.

Sarah felt passionate about keeping an after school facility in Hailsham, as she needs the service as she and her husband Wayne both work in London. Another 23 sets of parents were also looking for a new facility. The new club, called Kidz Only, will be opening at the start of the new autumn term on September 4 and will be located at the Hailsham Football Club Site in the Diplocks Estate.

The site was chose because is near to Grovelands School. Hailsham Football Club is also pleased that a daytime tenant has been found to support the football club .

The decision to start the venture was taken after learning that the old Oaks After School Club business was not viable. Sarah said, “Due to the debt problems, we had to try and find a solution for the Oaks, but this was not possible, meaning that parents had to take matters into their own hands to keep a after school club in the town.”

Kidz Only has given the present staff a chance to apply for their jobs but have also has had other candidates apply from neighbouring towns.

Sarah, along with her new business partner Katherine Blackwell, attended a recent parents evening at Grovelands School earlier this month and have received some enquiries and positive feedback.

Sarah added, “We have had lots support from East Sussex County Council Children’s centres, Debbie Adams and Mandy Mugridge and from the Extended Services department – Eve Lumb, both of which have given invaluable support and advice”

Katherine said ,“It’s a hectic time now and its all hands on deck to get ready for the opening in September.

“We would like however to thank everyone for their continued support, and a big thank you for all the donations of toys and games we have received from local businesses.”

For more information on the new after school club or to register call Sarah or Katherine on 07870 584518 or enquire at enquires@kidzonly.co.uk