That's the grim scenario facing Dawn Marie Hooks, who chairs the group. She's hoping that this last-ditch SOS in the News Update can save them. There are 45-50 children in the membership at the moment. Eighteen children regularly attend the Monday session although the numbers drop a bit for the Thursday and Friday sessions. Some sessions are so poorly attended that they don't even cover the overheads.
"That's ridiculous in a community of this size," said Dawn Marie. "We've had all these new homes being built in the last few years, families coming into the area, yet a wonderful group such as this is not well attended." Getting active committee members is another headache and you start to understand when you find that, as well as chairing the group, Dawn Marie is also secretary ... and joint treasurer!
"I've worked hard to encourage members of the community to attend but we still seem to be struggling," said Dawn Marie.
She recently secured a £5,234 grant from the Big Lottery Fund and says she would hate to have to return it due to the group folding. "Unfortunately, that is the sad reality," she added. "We are losing at least four committee members after summer this year and the group, though fairly easy to run, will have no-one left to do it.
The group has operated for about 16 years and Dawn Marie would like to see it continuing for 16 more. "With this funding," she said, "we have a fantastic opportunity, but only if we can muster up some support." Anyone with a child under school age or indeed someone who has an inter- est in working with children and helping them learn through imagina- tive play is capable of joining the group.They meet on Monday, Thurs- day and Friday in the community centre from 9.30 to 11.30am. For more information, pop along and chat to Dawn Marie but don't forget that the last opportunity to save this group comes at the AGM on May 20.