A POPULAR parent and toddler group enjoyed by hundreds of families has had its last meeting after 28 years.
But despite having said their tearful farewells to the Holmfirth-based group, its members are appealing to Examiner readers: Help us save our beloved group!
Holmfirth Parent and Toddler Group was the brainchild of Audrey Dalton, a member of the Mothers’ Union, after reading an article about young mothers being lonely.
Touched by the story, she and her friends Audrey Beverly and Cherry Robertson decided to set up a group for Holmfirth to give new parents the chance to get together and socialise while their children played in a safe environment.
When the group started 28 years ago there was only a handful of members, but the numbers soon swelled and over the years hundreds of parents have enjoyed attending the once-weekly meetings at the gallery room of Holmfirth Parish Church.
Generations have enjoyed the group, the only one of its kind available to families living in the area. Both its founders attended with their own young children when the group was first set up and Mrs Dalton’s son Eddie’s wife Lisa took both their children Ben and Holly.
But founding member Mrs Dalton has now decided to retire and because there is no one to pass the mantle of running to group to, the difficult decision has been made to close it.
Its members are now desperate to see their beloved group opened again and have decided to appeal to Examiner readers for help.
Lisa Dalton said: “We are very sad to see it go. It’s a fantastic group and right up to the point when it closed it was thriving with mothers and fathers with their children.
“It was such a lovely, welcoming group to a part of and a lot of people, myself included, have made some good friends there over the years. It’s nice to be able to get together with people in the same situation and have an environment that you know the kids will be happy and safe in.
“It’s such a shame to lose it and there’s not really anything else like it in the area, but my mother-in-law has just retired so she’s made the difficult decision not to continue running the group.
“Unfortunately no one has come forward offering to continue running the group, so we’re hoping that through the Examiner someone will be encouraged to come forward that will be able to spare the time to run it.”
The parents and toddlers have now had their last meeting, which they marked with a party and presentation of thanks to the founders. However, they are hopeful that it won’t be their last and that someone will step in to take charge and save the day.
The group is urging anyone who thinks they can help out by running their successful group to get in touch. It would run on Thursdays from 9am to 11am and the person would have to do things like help get things prepared for the meeting and get the toys out.
To volunteer to run the group, contact Mrs Dalton on 01484 684924.