End of an era as Penwortham playgroup announces it will close its doors after 48 years

Families across Penwortham have paid tribute to the “amazing” work of Middleforth Playgroup after staff announced it will close its doors in July.

By Catherine Musgrove
Wednesday, 18th May 2022, 3:45 pm
Updated Wednesday, 18th May 2022, 4:26 pm

It was revealed in March that the playgroup, which has run for nearly 50 years, was facing closure because only three children were registered for the coming September. The school needs 10 to 12 students to be able to remain open.

>>>Click here to read the appeal

A justgiving appeal was even launched to help with funding, but to date, has only attracted £190.

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Staff and children at Middleforth Playgroup, Penwortham

In a social media post, a spokesman for the group which runs out of St Leonard's Church Hall in Marshalls Brow, said: “With great sadness we have to inform you that Early Years at Middleforth Playgroup will close for good at the end of this school year on 22nd July 2022.”

It continued: “This is due to low numbers of children attending over the course of this academic year, as well as extremely low numbers of children registered to attend from September 2022.

"As you may be aware, we rely upon the number of children attending to provide us with the financial resources needed to continue our work, and our financial forecasts show that we do not have the funds to continue into the next academic year.”


Middleforth Playgroup, Penwortham

The post has attracted an outpouring of gratitude – and sadness – from parents in the area.

Yuko Small wrote: “I’m so sorry to hear this. All my children loved their time with you. Thank you so much for your love and care. All the memories and support we had are treasure for our family Sending lot’s of love to you all xx”

Marian Storry said: “Really sad to hear this. The ladies of Middleforth playgroup have done an excellent job over the years of looking after our children. I will be sad to see them go. All the very best for the future ladies x”

Fiona Handley wrote: “You are the most wonderful ladies, loved by all the children and families you have cared for.”

Sarah Marshall wrote: “Such sad news ladies, you have made such a difference to so many of our children. Take care all of you xxx”