Polish and East European toddler group forced to close
A parent and toddler group that supported Polish and other East European families in Cheltenham is closing through lack of cash.
The Krasnoludki group, which had run weekly sessions at the Rowanfield Children’s Centre, has been helping families for five years.
But now, organiser Urszula Przybysz-Pereira has had to call time on the group, leaving her devastated.
She said the closure was because money it used to receive from children’s centres to pay for its organiser’s time and materials for the group has been diverted to other areas.
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“Parents are really upset as the group had such a positive impact on their lives,” she said.
“Some people have just had their babies and this group was a great way for them to make contact with other parents.
“Meeting others helped them grow in confidence and to see it go is just devastating.”
Pawel Lojewski, 36, used the group along with his wife Marzena, 34.
The Polish father-of-two, who lives in Springbank, said: “We are very unhappy that the group is having to close, it has been ideal for us to meet other people. Sometimes, you don’t know that there are people living very close to you in similar circumstance until you see them in groups like this.
“I am very sad that this group is closing as it was nice to meet others from Poland.
“But, we will go to other toddler groups, which will help us integrate even more.”
The group ran different activities every week, with arts and crafts for the children.
There were families from countries as diverse as Germany, Slovakia and Colombia.
Urszula added: “I still want to continue to support Polish and Eastern European families and help them settle into the community.
“I am self-employed, so I am always happy to help out in school and nurseries.”
The group started in Churchdown five years ago before taking up residence at the Rowanfield centre just over two and a half years ago.
Urszula can be contacted via her website krasnoludki.co.uk.