A CHARITY which has helped generations of children in Burnley and Pendle has been forced to close.
Despite angry parents signing a petition to save the Burnley and Pendle Multi-Racial Playbus Association, no funding could be found to continue the service after government money was slashed.
Mrs Carol Hopkins, who has worked on the Playbus for the last 24 years, said it was a sad day for the children who used it.
“We knew it was coming, we’ve been packing everything up. Burnley MP Gordon Birtwistle wrote to the minister involved but unfortunately it was just too late.
“It’s been a unique service to this area. I think now a lot of the children will arrive at nursery school without having any experience of playing with other children so they will lose out in that respect.
“I want to say thank you to all the families who have used us over the years and how sorry I am that the children on the waiting list didn’t benefit from the Playbus. I wish them all well for the future.”
Charity bosses are currently in discussions as to what will happen to the toys and other Playbus equipment while its three staff were all given redundancy notices.
The Playbus, which cared for tots aged between two and four who do not go to nursery, was set up more than 30 years ago.
Since then, thousands of youngsters, many of whom have little access to social play or facilities, have benefited from activities to encourage and develop early learning.