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Children's playgroup returns home

PUBLISHED: 10:00 19 January 2010 | UPDATED: 07:33 02 July 2010

Karl Tutt with his Daughter Alex (4).

Karl Tutt with his Daughter Alex (4).

A children's playgroup which had to find a new place to go after the church where it met was attacked by arsonists is celebrating a return to their original home.

A children's playgroup which had to find a new place to go after the church where it met was attacked by arsonists is celebrating a return to their original home.

St Thomas' Toddlers used to be housed inside St Thomas's Church in Earlham Road, Heigham, which was attacked by arsonists in 2007.

The fire started in a corridor at back of the extension to the church hall and left all toys and games used by the mothers and toddlers club in shreds. The kitchen and toilets were also destroyed and the roof was also damaged.

But the group have made a welcome return to the church, which has now been fully restored.

Chloe Manka from the group said: “We were a well established toddler group providing entertainment and a great social rest-bite for many local parents, but after the arson attack it was really hard to keep that fantastic community spirit alive.”

The group moved to another church after the attack in Trinity Street, but their numbers became less. They then moved on at the beginning of this year to The Belevedere Centre in Belvoir Street, Norwich.

Ms Manka said: “I stepped in to help Karl Tutt, who runs the group, and to bring about some much needed changes to the group.

“We acquired some new toys from car-boots and generous donations. I also introduced a healthy snack for all children present and an after snack group activity.

“Our return to the church will be an exciting one, it's a much bigger venue and we're hoping to establish ourselves as a safe, friendly and strong part of the community.

“We'd like to make the most of the kitchen facilities and continue to offer a healthy snack for each child present, we'd also like to offer teas and coffees for the parents but in order to do this we will be calling on volunteers.”

To find out more about the group, which meets every Wednesday in term time, contact Mr Tutt on 01603 470507.

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