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Boy offers money from the tooth fairy to save after-school club
IT was a gesture that would have melted any parent’s heart, a wide-eyed little boy offering to donate a few pounds from the tooth fairy to rescue his beloved after-school club.
They face closure at the end of the month unless extra funding is found.
The youngster attends the charity’s after-school club at Heathfield Junior School which will shut on April 1.
Other schemes at St Mary’s Primary School, Mansbridge School and Coxford Community Centre are also facing closure.
It comes after Southampton City Council slashed funding by £70,000.
The cuts come after the council agreed to £15m cuts in services across the city earlier this year.
SCPA, which offers free activities for more than 3,000 children in the city, must also cut its summer play schemes from 24 to 12 and will no longer staff the Thornhill Adventure Playground.
Headley’s mum Natalie, 29, whose children Denisha, 8, and Georgia, 7, also attend the club, said: “He’s really upset as he loves the club so much.
“He lost his tooth last night and as soon as he swapped the £2 for a fiver with his dad he wanted to give it to the club.
“You would think they would encourage clubs like this because it keeps the kids off the streets. It’s going to be a great loss.”
Another mum, Carole Charrett, 42, from Purvis Gardens, Sholing, whose son Danny, 7, and daughter Taylor, 8, also attend the club, added: “Why should the children suffer for other people’s mistakes?
“It’s like a big family here. The staff are so caring, loving and friendly and have worked so hard so the children can have this equipment.”
The association, which celebrates its 40th anniversary this year, will have to lay off 15 play workers, plus play development supervisor Lesley Connery.
She said: “I’ve been working here for 20 years so it’s going to be so hard, especially as I am the only breadwinner in my family. It won’t seem real until I get the letter saying I have to go.”
City children’s services chief Cllr Sarah Bogle said: “We are in a difficult position with Government funding and we are trying to prioritise where the need is greatest.”
SCPA is also looking for sponsors for its annual fun day which takes place from 10am-2pm on Friday, July 26, in Hoglands Park.