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Staff pull out stops for playbus

PUBLISHED: 17:37 18 December 2001 | UPDATED: 11:02 03 March 2010

THE professionals have been called in to save a vital Ipswich service from being taken off the road.

Cash was needed fast to stop the Community Playbus from shutting down after a lottery grant was refused.

THE professionals have been called in to save a vital Ipswich service from being taken off the road.

Cash was needed fast to stop the Community Playbus from shutting down after a lottery grant was refused.

Staff at the scheme were determined to keep the project afloat, which has been running for more than 20 years, and so called in professional fundraisers.

Diss based company, Spectrum has taken on the project and are busy targeting businesses in the area to put money into the scheme.

Now another Ipswich company, Crystal Decisions has boosted the funding by raising £1,000 for them at a quiz, dance and raffle night.

Louise Hardwick, from Crystal Decisions said the company wanted to support an Ipswich charity and decided to give it to the Community Playbus after its struggles were highlighted in the Evening Star earlier this year.

She said: "We are really pleased (with the amount raised) as we wanted to do something for the community.

"We had read about the problems with the playbus and felt they needed it."

Jennie Thurkettle, secretary for the scheme, said: "The money will help us a lot.

"We will probably buy some new toys with it.

"Every little helps and it is nice to see people supporting us."

The Community Playbus provides children, in places such as Greenwich and Chantry, with a safe area where they have plenty of toys to play with.

Adults can also use the service for advice on an array of subjects such as health and money.

The future looked bleak for the scheme earlier this year when a lack of staff meant it may have to close, even though a new bus had just been launched.

It was then dealt a second blow when a much needed lottery grant was refused leaving the remaining staff wondering how they would find more than £100,000 a year to keep the bus on the road.

Now the future could be looking brighter – agency staff have been employed in the short term and adverts will be going in at the beginning of next year for two full time and two part time staff as well as a driver.

Mrs Thurkettle is also hoping that a new session will be added on the Priory Estate to replace one that has been dropped from Downside Close because of lack of use.


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