Wrench for playgroup leader

WHEN her daughter Sarah was three, Edith Abbott started helping at the St Thomas' Playgroup in Bramford Lane, Ipswich.Now 23 years later she has retired as leader of one of the most successful playgroups in the town.

By Paul Geater

WHEN her daughter Sarah was three, Edith Abbott started helping at the St Thomas' Playgroup in Bramford Lane, Ipswich.

Now 23 years later she has retired as leader of one of the most successful playgroups in the town.

And she knows it will be a wrench not returning to the playgroup after Easter – it's been a part of her life for so many years.

"I started helping here when Sarah went to the playgroup," she said.

"I've seen hundreds of children through here since that time. It's been a real labour of love – I really enjoy working with children," she said.

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St Thomas' playgroup meets at the church hall four mornings a week.

There are 24 children at each session, and a total of 48 youngsters visit it every week.

Mrs Abbott added: "There used to be more playgroups in the area, but the opening of new nursery classes and other changes have reduced the number – but we are as busy as ever."

She has decided to retire now because she is 60 in June – but will continue to be involved with children in the area.

Mrs Abbott is a governor at Springfield Infants School and also helps at Springfield Junior School.

One of her regular jobs is to help accompany 11-year-old children on their annual school trip to Kent.

"I'll be keeping up my association with the Springfield schools, I couldn't give my everything at once!" she said.

"What is really nice is that I see a lot of children I've worked with over the years and when they smile and say, 'Hello, Mrs Abbott,' it makes it all worth it."

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