Town rallies round to help theft-hit playgroup
A DEVASTATING theft that has left a Cirencester playgroup on the brink of closure has prompted an outpouring of generosity from across the town.
From fish and chip shops to bookies, collection buckets have been out in force across Cirencester in a rallying effort to keep Lewis Lane Playgroup open.
Last week the Standard reported that the charity’s accounts had been emptied of £8,000, leaving 54 children's places at the playgroup in danger of being lost forever.
Since then, more than £2,000 has been raised with the Cirencester Round Table donating £1,000 to the cause.
In addition, a trio of former playgroup committee members have received £1,000 in sponsorship pledges ahead of a triathlon challenge they are taking on at Cirencester Leisure Centre.
Mum-of-two Emma Wellman said as soon as she heard about the theft, she wanted to help.
"Some parents are worried because they’ve signed up their children to go there in September and now they might have to look for somewhere else.Emma Wellman
"Everybody is in shock and completely gutted," she said. "Some parents are worried because they’ve signed up their children to go there in September and now they might have to look for somewhere else.
"The teachers there are so fantastic and supportive. It’s such a shame that it’s happened, especially to a charity based playgroup."
Emma, from Cirencester, will be joined by mums Denise Perry and Emma Ind on the indoor triathlon challenge, which will see them jog for 10 Km, cycle for 20 Km and swim for one mile from 9am on Thursday, May 10.
Sponsorship forms can be found at Lewis Lane Playgroup or at Ladbrokes on West Way, Cirencester.
To donate to the Standard's appeal, send a cheque or cash to the Lewis Lane Playgroup appeal, Wilts and Glos Standard, 74 Dyer Street, Cirencester, GL7 2PW.
Tickets are still available for the playgroup's 40th year reunion disco, buffet and raffle event on Saturday, May 12 at Cirencester's New Social Club. For details contact Sharon Woodruffe on 07747 795834.
• A 35-year-old Cirencester woman has been arrested in connection with the theft and has been released on bail while investigations continue.