FURIOUS families have been “left in the lurch” after a children’s summer camp was cancelled... just days before it was meant to begin.

Energy Kidz, the provider behind the summer camp that was set to be held at Shoebury High School, say the decision was made due to very low booking numbers and “the availability of other camps in the area.”

But Paula Doyle, who is from Shoebury, was left in disbelief after being informed on Friday afternoon that the camp would not go ahead, having already spent more than £300 for her child’s space.

Although a refund was offered, the family were instead given a credit on their account, and have had to now search elsewhere for help over the summer.

The mum was even more furious to have received a message from Energy Kidz notifying her of another camp available - with it being based at Hilltop Primary Academy in Kent, which is 15 miles away.

The camp would have started on Monday, when the summer break started.

Paula said: “I work long hours and so does my partner, so this meant we could drop my four-year-old son off before work and I wouldn’t have to rush back after to pick him up.

“I’ve now managed to find somewhere else, but have had to fork out even more money where I haven’t had a refund. A credit on my account isn’t helpful when it’s highly unlikely I’ll use them again.”

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A mother, who wanted to remain anonymous, says she has had to “scramble around” for help from family members where other clubs are either full or hard to get to and be at work on time.

The Shoebury mum, who is in her 40s, added: "I was really pleased to have a summer camp that was being run by the same people who will be running the wrap around care at my sons primary school from September. It was a good opportunity for him to get used to the way they do things and maybe even meet some staff.

“I am now having the most stressful time trying to work with a five-year-old jumping, screaming and demanding attention - has the last 18 months not been hard enough?"

SECAT, who host the camp at the school, stated they have “no input” in the arrangement of the summer camp or the decision to cancel it.

A spokesman from Energy Kidz, said: "Energy Kidz pride ourselves on providing a safe and enjoyable provision for families. When demand is low and there low bookings it drastically reduces the enjoyment for all children and therefore the decision was made to cancel the provision. Whilst this was not an easy decision to make, it was made knowing that there are a variety of other childcare provisions locally for parents.

"There are several other provisions which are going ahead. SECAT is running a Holiday Activity Fund (HAF) camp at the school which runs to August 19, Monday to Thursday, 9am to 1pm. There are still some spaces for qualifying children.

"There are other holiday clubs that are available and have spaces. For example, Thorpe Hall School and other local providers are still advertising spaces."