A CHILDCARE centre at the heart of the community has been given a temporary lifeline as Gainsborough Adventure Playground secures funding for the summer – but their future remains in doubt after that.
GAPA is currently used by over 230 families in the Gainsborough area and has provided care services to countless more over the last 38 years.
After nearly four decades of providing free care and despite receiving a rating of ‘outstanding’ from Ofsted last September, at least six paid staff at GAPA will lose their jobs and funding for its open access service for 5-to-14 year-olds has come to an end.
But now, GAPA have received a grant of £5,000 from the Garfield Weston Foundation for activities and resources and £500 from Lincolnshire Police for Youth Activities – meaning that services can continue throughout the summer.
Despite this and many more individuals and community groups coming together to support and raise funds for GAPA, they aren’t out of the woods just yet.
“We’re do happy that we’ll be able to put on some kind of summer play scheme for 5-to-14 year-olds,” said GAPA manager Lisa Pinkney. “This time last month we didn’t think that would be possible so we are absolutely over the moon.”
“At least it will give us a chance to have the best play scheme we’ve ever had and can go out with a bang.”
She continued: “YASIG also read about our difficulties and wanted to support us, so we’ll be working with them to run one session a week in the holidays too.”
Lisa said that she and all at GAPA have been deeply touched by people’s efforts to support and raise money for them as closure looms on the horizon.
“Trent Valley Academy will be running a series of events to raise money for us in their last week of term, thanks to Wendy Carwick and the Lions and Rotary Club have voiced their support also,” said Lisa.
“Not only that but we’ve recruited three new volunteers who will be helping us over the summer, and we’re arranging a family trip to Mablethorpe, as well as inviting families to come celebrate National Play Day with us on 3rd August.”
“Our GAPA cafe is now open every day as well, from 12pm-2pm selling tea, coffee and light lunches to everyone in the community.”
GAPA will also be holding a fundraising event at Gainsborough Blues Club on Thursday 30th July. Tickets are £5 and are available from GAPA or the Blues Club.
There will also be a fundraising car boot sale at GAPA on Sunday 10th July.