After almost eight years of providing free, holiday play activities in Ruddington, the team behind ‘Ruddington Fun‘ has announced the sad news that it’s having to call it a day…
Founder Barbara Breakwell recounts: “In summer 2010, I started ‘Summer Fun in Ruddington’. This was only possible with the support of Sure Start, Georgina Ratcliffe, who worked for us2gether (a project that supported schools’ extended services) and Ruddington Parish Council. The response to the sessions was amazing and residents asked for more. Consequently, I put out a plea for volunteers and in February 2011, seven of us met and ‘Ruddington Fun’ was formed.”
Their aim was to: “Provide, either directly or through partnership with other organisations, school holiday activities and events for children, young people and families within Ruddington.” Over the years they’ve certainly provided quite a diverse range of activities – extending to one especially for our “mature” residents on Older Person’s Day. They’ve supported community events by providing craft activities – and even celebrated the old village tradition of ‘walking the wall’ around St Peter’s Rooms (pictured) to celebrate Team GB‘s success at the Rio Olympics in 2016! There’s certainly lots to look back on…
Their resources were funded by Rushcliffe and Nottinghamshire Councillors, as well as the Co-op Local Community Fund, East Midlands Airport, Veolia and the Parish Council. These, in turn, have subsequently been loaned to various village events and organisations to make use of.
Barbara explains: “Unfortunately, for a variety of reasons, ‘Ruddington Fun’ will no longer provide activities. The main reasons are that my health is unpredictable and the other volunteers have various work and family commitments. When I started the concept there was very little happening in our community in terms of play activities. Now there is.”
Some examples of alternative, regular activities for kids that now exist within our village include the fortnightly Rushcliffe Junior Parkrun, the monthly Rattle, Rhyme & Roll sessions in the library, monthly Rushcliffe Country Park Wildlife Watch Group and school holiday “Griswold Gang” craft activities put on by The Framework Knitters’ Museum.
Barbara promises: “I WILL maintain our Ruddington Fun Facebook page to keep alerting families to what’s happening in the locality. I would like to thank everyone who’s supported us in any way and, in particular, the Parish Council for their help with providing venues.”
Meantime, Jane Garner has announced she’s calling time on her popular, Ruddington childminding service ‘Little Seedlings Childcare’. This began in October 2009 – catering for a six month to ten year age range – and she recruited assistant Samantha Ellis a few months later as the business grew. In 2016, their service was rated as ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted.
Jane says: “During the eight years that we’ve worked together, we’ve been fortunate to care for 71 children, with the vast majority of them living in Ruddington. Unfortunately, due to ill health, I’ve decided that the time is right to finish and retire. Sam intends on returning to a position in retail.”
We wish them all well in their retirement/future endeavours!