Selsey playgroup needs £50,000 to save its home

Tracy Game, Sam Crees and Jen Byrne outside Auntie Ro's playgroup
Tracy Game, Sam Crees and Jen Byrne outside Auntie Ro's playgroup
  • Auntie Ro’s playgroup in Selsey is based in the British Red Cross hall in Lewis Road
  • The hall will be sold to another organisation unless the playgroup can raise £85,000 to buy the hall itself
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AN ‘OUTSTANDING’ playgroup is in peril as it needs to raise £50,000 to save its home.

Auntie Ro’s, in Selsey, has been a tenant at the British Red Cross hall, in Lewis Road, since 1971.

Staff, children and parents at Auntie Ro's playgroup in Selsey, which needs to raise �50,000 to be able to stay in its home

Staff, children and parents at Auntie Ro's playgroup in Selsey, which needs to raise �50,000 to be able to stay in its home

However, its building will be sold to another owner by the charity, unless the playgroup can raise £85,000 to buy the building first. So far, it has raised £35,000.

“We offer something different to the other day nurseries,” said joint supervisor Sam Crees. “It’s been here so long and it’s been part of the community.

“Where would these children go? We have 66 children on the roll. Where will they go?”

She said other nurseries in the area did not have enough space to take everyone.

There’s a waiting list to join and rightly so, because you get a really good quality standard of care and experience

Liz Thomas, parent

“Because we’re a community-based and community-run playgroup, we want to stay in the community,” said deputy manager Jen Byrne.

Mums were quick to praise the playgroup, saying it was unique in the area.

“It’s vital they do raise the money,” said Liz Thomas, whose three-year-old daughter Erin goes to Auntie Ro’s.

“It’s a traditional-style playschool rather than a nursery.

“There are children coming here now whose parents came to this playschool.

“It’s got such a good reputation. There’s a waiting list to join and rightly so, because you get a really good quality standard of care and experience.”

She said it would be a ‘big loss’ if the community lost Auntie Ro’s.

Its last Ofsted inspection in 2013 said the pre-school was ‘outstanding’, praising its support for children with special needs and disabilities, as 
well as ‘exceptionally strong’ partnerships with parents.

Staff and parents are hoping a business or individual may be able to help them out with donations to continue providing a service to Selsey parents.

Mum Louise Cato said: “It’s a lovely set-up. The children get lots of experiences. I love the way they use their outside garden.”

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