Numbers drop at unique Buckhaven playgroup

Shaun Pollock
Shaun Pollock

THE organiser of a community playgroup in Buckhaven is urging parents to consider using the group or risk losing a once-valuable asset.

Shaun Pollock took over the running of Buckhaven Community Centre’s twice-weekly playgroup last summer, after the previous organiser of 30 years left.

But since then, with children reaching nursery age, numbers have dwindled to the point where sometimes there are as little as only two children attending.

Mr Pollock, whose daughter Selene attends the group, said: “Apparently, the Salvation Army parent and toddlers group is packed.

“Some people could come here instead, as we have a nice big hall for the kids to run about in and we have lots of play equipment.”

As well as competition from other playgroups, the community centre group could be struggling for numbers, as parents have to stay with their children during the sessions.

But this, insists Mr Pollock, makes the group different and is actually why it is worth saving, as it is a great place for parents to sound off to each other, enjoy adult company and get advice on practically anything.

“It is a really good place for interaction,” he explained.

“Back in the day, we used to grab a cup of coffee from the snack bar and all the parents would sit and have a natter as the kids played.

“A lot of advice was imparted, as if you had any problems there was always someone else who would say ‘my kid did the same thing’.

“Most people come from Buckhaven but some also came from Leven and Kennoway. We welcome anyone, really.”

The group meets on a Tuesday and Thursday from 9.45am-11.45am.

Each session only costs £1 per child, which is given to the community centre for the hire of its big hall.

Parents don’t need to sign up to go to every session or pay a joining fee.

However, Mr Pollock warned: “Unfortunately, we are getting to the point where we might have to close down.

“The money collected goes to the hire of the hall, even if it is only a couple of pounds.

“If someone else asks to use the hall at our slot, the community centre says no, but that’s not cost effective for them.

“It has to pick up or, unfortunately, this playgroup is going to be lost.

“People can come every now and then – all they have to do is drop in when they want and that’s it.

“It would be a shame to see it go.”