Toddlers handprint petition to save their playgroups

Over a hundred toddlers in Lewisham have printed their handprints on a petition as part of a campaign to save their play clubs in the borough.

Parents and carers yesterday handed in the petition to Councillor Dan Whittle at Telegraph Hill playgroup.

Dan Whittle said: “There is a real possibility in saving these playgroups but changes will have to be made to keep them open. For example there will be no staff if the playgroup is kept opened and the community will have the responsibility of running it.”

Playgroups in Lewisham have been threatened with closure as part of proposed cuts to be decided by the Mayor of Lewisham by the end of February 2013.

Parents and volunteers at Telegraph Hill and Friendly Gardens, who partnered up and organized the recent campaign, say they will happily run the playgroups themselves.

Laura Seabright, a parent and an active campaigner, said: “I think we will save the playclub but it will be through community solutions, if we can’t save it with the council running it then, we will run it with the community… better run by the community.”

She added: “We want to make sure we get the best facility for our kids, it reflects what the community needs. We want to make sure though that the council gives the resources and community support we need.”

Children across the area also built snowmen during the weekends snowfall, in aim of creating more awareness for their local playgroups.

A meeting has been scheduled for January 30, for parents to meet with Lewisham Council to discuss the future of council playgroup services.

Pic: Telegraph Hill Playgroup

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