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Future of a pre-school under threat of closure secured by community facility

Abbey Croft Leisure, which runs Brandon Leisure Centre, have offered Fledglings Pre-School a new short-term home. Picture: Abbey Croft Leisure

Abbey Croft Leisure, which runs Brandon Leisure Centre, have offered Fledglings Pre-School a new short-term home. Picture: Abbey Croft Leisure

Archant

The future of a popular pre-school which was under threat of closure has been temporarily secured.

For more than 40 years children aged two, three and four have been attending Fledglings Pre-School in Brandon.

However, the volunteer-led charity faced an uncertain future when it was given notice to leave its current premises at the 1st Brandon Scouts’ hut.

Fearing she would not find another premises by September to reopen, pre-school chairman Emma Slaughter had prepared redundancy notices to hand to her staff.

But Fledglings has been given a life-line by Abbeycroft Leisure who have offered use of two rooms at their leisure centre in Brandon.

Dr Slaughter said: “It is fantastic. I was going to be serving staff their redundancy notices soon.

“The fact they have come along and have worked with us. We are completely grateful to them. It is amazing.”

The 40-year-old, whose 16-year-old son attended Fledglings, said the thought of the pre-school closing was “devastating”.

More than 40 children are registered and many of the parents to not drive so walk their children to the education provider and back home again.

She said: “Some of our staff have been in post for 20 years. Our young children in Brandon should be supported in Brandon. They should have their early education where they live.”

The leisure centre will lease the rooms on a short-term basis.

The pre-school will open there in September and are looking for a more permanent solution.

“Ideally we are looking for a long-term home for Fledglings to continue,” said Dr Slaughter. “We want it to operate for another 40 years and more. We would like to have the continuity for our staff and parents.”

Warren Smyth, chief executive of Abbeycroft Leisure who worked with Forest Heath Council to help the pre-school, said: “Abbeycroft are pleased to be able to provide a short term solution to accommodate Fledgelings Pre-School.

“We will work with the pre-school, staff and customers to ensure that they get a warm welcome and continue to access this important child care service for the town.”

To help with a more permanent space call Emma Slaughter on 07415738992.

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