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Blaze-hit nursery is back – for now
A NURSERY destroyed in a suspected arson attack has found a temporary home – but its future remains in doubt.
Staff, children and parents were delighted when Busy Bees’ sessions finally resumed on Monday after Manor Mission Church, in Manor Road, Laindon, stepped in to offer its building for the time being.
Busy Bees’ former base at Bluehouse Farm Community Centre, in Laindon, was gutted in the huge blaze on Sunday, February 16.
The nursery has been inundated with donations of toys, books, children’s furniture and other equipment, but may not be able to use them after Friday, March 14.
The pre-school can only stay in an alternative building for two weeks before, legally, it has to register with Ofsted.
Manager Donna Surridge admitted they have nowhere to turn when the stint at Manor Mission ends.
She said: “The children are so happy they can start coming back to Busy Bees and have settled in really well. They don’t seem too bothered by being in a different building.
“All the parents are relieved as well, because they’ve either had the kids at home or had to make alternative arrangement while we were closed.
“The support we’ve had has been fantastic. It really seems to have brought the community together.
“But in two weeks we’re not going to be able to open again, and I honestly don’t knowwhat we’re going to do.
“We have morning and afternoon sessions, so it’s hard to find somewhere which has space for us all day. A lot of parents have children at local schools and can’t be in two places at once, so we still need to be in the Laindon area.
That’s the problem we have got.’’ Busy Bees, which has 70 children on its roll, was at Bluehouse Farm for more than 40 years.
Two 12 year-olds – a boy and a girl – were arrested at their homes in Basildon hours after the inferno on suspicion of arson.
They have been released on police bail until Tuesday, May 6.
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