Desperate hunt for a new home

Peacehaven CATS club faced with closure SUS-160402-090508008
Peacehaven CATS club faced with closure SUS-160402-090508008

A children’s club in Peacehaven is facing an uncertain future after being told it must leave its current premises.

C.A.T.S is a breakfast club, an after-school club and a holiday club for children aged three to 14 years, which currently operates from Greenwich House, in Meridian Way.

However, the popular club has been given notice to leave the building by the end of July, and are now on a desperate hunt to find an alternative site.

Vicky Phillips, manager of C.A.T.S Club, said: “We had a very enjoyable 15 years at Meridian School but we outgrew them, so in September last year, we moved into Greenwich House, which we sublease from Butterfly Nursery.

“The nursery is currently based at Meridian School, but the school is taking back part of its site, so the nursery is having to relocate back to Greenwich House by the end of July, which means there will be no room at the inn for us.

“We are the only extended school club that operates fully all year round and there will be a massive impact on the local community if we’re not able to offer the services we do currently. It will not only impact on the seven members of staff who will face being made redundant, but also the parents who wouldn’t be able to work without the level of childcare we can provide, especially during the school holidays.

“It really would have a huge impact on the community.”

The club currently runs a breakfast club, with around 20 children, and an after-school club, with 35-37 children. In the school holidays, the club is filled to capacity, with 40 kids.

Ms Phillips added: “We’re looking for a huge community space somewhere in Peacehaven, something that’s big enough to accommodate for all the activities we run.

“One of our staff members set up a fundraising page to help us try and afford a new home, and within just 24 hours, we had raised £480. We’re filling out application forms for grants - anything we can think of to raise money.

“There are a lot of upset parents who are worried we may close if we can’t find a new site, which is a possibility. I know some of the parents are arranging fundraising events and quiz nights to try and raise as much money as possible.

“Time is not on our side. We have to find a place and then get it Ofsted registered, which could take 26 weeks.

“Meridian School has given us some options to help in the interim, which may buy us some time, and Peacehaven Town Council are being extremely helpful to try and help us find somewhere.

“We’re all desperately hoping we can find somewhere.”

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