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Charlotte Davies, from Ryhall in Rutland, is spearheading a campaign to reopen the village's only playgroup

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A Ryhall mum is spearheading a campaign to reopen the village’s only playgroup after its sudden closure in September.

Charlotte Davies, 34, who has a five-month-old son, is being supported by other parents and volunteers keen to get the playgroup going again.

The group, for babies up to four-year-olds, had been running successfully on Monday mornings, at the village hall, until its existing leaders decided it was time to step down.

Mum Charlotte Davies and Rev Jo Saunders of St John Church in Ryhall
Mum Charlotte Davies and Rev Jo Saunders of St John Church in Ryhall

Charlotte said: “The playgroup had been due to open in September and, from what I understand, it was very well attended.

“Ryhall is a big village and I think the nearest playgroup to here would be Stamford.”

Charlotte has set up a Facebook group called ‘Ryhall Playgroup’ and has already had interest from a number of people willing to help out.

She said: “We want to continue running the playgroup on Monday mornings from 9.30am until 11.30am in the village hall. It’s opposite the school and there are toys there already. We have the venue, we just need people to help run it.

“We would like to see it open from January, but it can only happen if we get enough volunteers.”

Charlotte added that it does not matter if volunteers have children or not, she wants to see it run as a ‘community effort.’

She has the backing of the Ryhall Methodist Church, of which she belongs; and The Church of St John the Evangelist, in the village. Both churches are working together to see the playgroup restart.

“When we heard the playgroup had closed we were all really upset about it and both churches felt there was a big opportunity to get the group going again,” Charlotte added. “I am representing the Methodist Church and I know that the Rev William Booker is anxious for it to happen.”

The Rev Jo Saunders, of St John Church, added: “We are keen to have a playgroup that is part of the community and we are in the process of recruiting volunteers.”

A meeting will be held at the St John Church, in Church Street, on Monday at 11am, for people interested in getting involved.

Charlotte would like to hear from people willing to help run the playgroup, or who can give up some time (there is no weekly expectation), make refreshments, prepare crafts or register families at the door.

For more details, you can contact Charlotte on: 07976 064410 or e-mail her at: charlotteneilddavies@gmail.com

n What do you think? Would you like to see a playgroup reopen in Ryhall? E-mail: smeditor@stamfordmercury.co.uk

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