Future uncertain for arson-hit Woking nursery building

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By mattcollison | Wednesday, December 05, 2012, 14:30

STAFF at Toad Hall Nursery are due to visit the stricken building for the first time since it was targeted by arsonists in the hope of rescuing children's project work and belongings. 

The nursery, in Wishbone Way, Goldsworth Park, has been closed since a large part of the building and adjoining community centre was destroyed by fire in the early hours of Sunday.

Parents have since been struggling to find alternative childcare and do not know when, or if, the nursery will re-open at the building, which is owned by Surrey County Council.

Toad Hall Nursery Group's day centres in Ripley and Ottershaw have taken on board some of the displaced childen. 

Parents have been urged to regularly check Toad Hall Nursery Group's Facebook page for updates.

Ruth Pimentel, chief executive of Toad Hall Nursery group, said: "We are still awaiting building surveyors' reports to know what the prospect is for the building.

"The parents have hopefully been having regular communication from me via email and the Facebook page.

"We are encouraging all parents to find alternative childcare, much as it saddens us to do that because in reality we are not going to be able to find a quick short term solution.

"The children are being encouraged to go to our Ripley and Ottershaw nursery but those are both quite small nurseries so places there are very limited."

She added: "The building is owned by Surrey County Council so the decision rests with them and their insurers as to what the next step is."

Staff are due to enter the nursery over the next 24 hours for the first time since the fire to rescue any children's pictures, learning journals and personal items for parents.

Mrs Pimentel said: "We are hoping today or tomorrow we should be allowed into the building. The fire was mainly in the roof area of the nursery, but of course there was a lot of water damage so we don't quite know what we are going to find when we get in. 

"We are hoping to rescue their learning journals which will have all their pictures and lots of memories of their time at Toad Hall. We're hoping they are going to be in a good enough state to give to the children and the parents."

The Nursery said it plans to make children's personal belongings available for collection at the Woking Sea Cadets HQ in Goldsworth Park.

Meanwhile the nursery has said its Christmas party will go ahead, allowing parents, children and staff a chance to get together for the first time since the fire.

The party will be held at the Sea Cadets building from 2pm to 4pm on December 19.

For more information go to Toad Hall Nursery Group's Facebook page.

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