Burnt Mill save the day for After-School Club

AN after-school club has been saved from closure and offered a new base free of charge.

Chillout Kids Club was set up 12 years ago by Tracey Watkins and provides a much-needed childcare service until 6pm each week day.

When their previous arrangement came to an end, an urgent search began to find a new venue for the club, which takes care of four to 14-year-olds.

An appeal by Harlow MP Robert Halfon for schools in the town to consider rehoming the club saw Burnt Mill Academy step in.

The club has now been relaunched at Burnt Mill, in First Avenue, Harlow, using the school’s extensive facilities, including common room, IT suite, main hall, playground and kitchen.

It is hoped they will also now be able to hold holiday clubs offering swimming sessions in Burnt Mill’s pool.

Ms Watkins said: “We are the longest standing after school club in Harlow and we were all – staff, children and parents – devastated when we thought we would have to close.

“Burnt Mill Academy headteacher Helena Mills has been kind enough to hear our plea and give us a new home to continue providing a service to the community. Burnt Mill have been really kind and sympathetic; they are fantastic, really community-minded.

“By waiving the fees, we are going to be able to do so much. We will, in time, also contribute in some way to Burnt Mill as a thank you for being so amazing.

“We are eternally grateful.”

Jackie Keegan, finance manager at Burn Mill, said: “We have offered Chillout Kids Club the use of our facilities free of charge to allow them to pass these savings down to the parents of the children they take care of.

“This provides the children with an ideal opportunity to get a feel for a large secondary school. Lots of our students stay after school for study and enrichment clubs, so it is great these young children can see our school working in readiness for their own transition to secondary.

afterschool“This is a community building we believe should be shared by the community.”

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