Thanks for saving us, say playgroup chiefs

A PLAYGROUP once struggling to survive is now fighting back – with a little help from the Courier.

Luddenden Foot Civic Institute, home to the Luddenden Valley Under Fives, was putting off new parents last year because of its rundown state.

Now the building is undergoing a much-needed makeover after the mums who run the playgroup voluntarily appealed for help in the Courier.

Jane Harrison, playgroup treasurer, said: “The response has just been brilliant and everyone has been so generous.

“It has been overwhelming.”

The venue, which once had crumbling plaster and peeling paint, is being transformed by offenders carrying out community payback under the watch of West Yorkshire Probation.

A new kitchen has been given to the group by joinery company Howdens, Mytholmroyd company Weir has provided scaffolding and Dulux has donated paint.

“We really need to say a really big thanks to the community payback scheme and everyone else who has helped,” said Jane.

But the playgroup is now facing a fresh threat as the fate of the building is determined by Calderdale Council.

Luddenden Foot Community Association, which supports the playgroup, has been campaigning for six years to obtain control of the premises under an asset-transfer scheme.

Upstairs

But a separate bid has recently been put in by the Luddenden Foot Community Youth and Sports Centre.

Mrs Harrison fears the playgroup may be relegated to a smaller upstairs room if the sports centre bid is successful.

“They couldn’t really get rid of us full stop, but we certainly fear being sidelined,” she said.

“We’d be absolutely gutted if it happened and I think all the people who’ve donated their time and effort would also feel gutted.”

Dal Singh, who represents Luddenden Foot Community Youth and Sports Centre, declined to comment on the bid.

A council spokeswoman said: “We are currently looking over both applications but will not be able to make a decision until Cabinet in June.”