Parents create new Hailsham after school club

OAKS After School Club to be closed, Dunbar Drive, Hailsham, May 17th 2013 E21003P'Some of the group of children who attend OAKS After School Club

OAKS After School Club to be closed, Dunbar Drive, Hailsham, May 17th 2013 E21003P'Some of the group of children who attend OAKS After School Club

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A group of parents are opening a new venture after months of trying to save the Oaks After School Club in Hailsham from closure.

Parents started a campaign in protest at the after school club being forced to shut as East Sussex County Council aimed to turn the Dunbar Drive building into a support service for vulnerable children this month.

Parents feared they would have to rely on friends to take care of their children if a replacement service was not found.

They have now taken on the challenge of opening a new Out of School Club.

The current club has 24 children attending from 3.30pm but ran into massive debt problems over the past year, making the present business unsustainable.

Sarah Spicer, who has worked tirelessly to save the service, decided to start her own business.

She felt passionate about keeping an after school facility in Hailsham, as she and her husband both work in London, and 23 other sets of parents desperately need the club.

The new venture, called Kidz Only, is due to open at the start of the autumn term at Hailsham Football Club site on the Diplocks Estate.

Sarah said: “Due to the debt problems, we had to try and find a solution for the Oaks, but this was not possible, meaning 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 has also had other candidates apply from neighbouring towns.

Sarah, with new business partner Katherine Blackwell, attended a recent parents’ evening at Groveland’s School and received 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 it’s all hands on deck to get ready for the opening in September.

“We are still looking for toys for all ages to kit out the club.”

For more information or to register you can call either Sarah or Katherine on 07870 584518 or enquire at enquires@kidzonly.co.uk