Gosport charity Marvels and Meltdowns closes the doors on its family centre after rent issues
Marvels and Meltdowns in Gosport will shut the doors of its family centre on March 31 after issues with rent and leasing at their current site in St Vincent’s College, Mill Lane, where the centre has been based for more than two and a half years.
Chief executive and co founder Shandrika Day told The News: ‘Marvels and Meltdowns is not going anywhere and we will still be running our support groups but things will be different for a little while as we find a new home.
‘We had a two-year lease for the centre at the college but this was up in July last year so it was just rolling until a new lease was sorted. However because of the financial insecurity of this, we haven’t been able to get funding which is what pays for the rent which is £26,500 a year.
‘It is sad because the site was our first home but we are already looking at new buildings and hopefully will be able to do a big reveal somewhere new soon.’
The charity won’t be able to run its stay and play groups whilst it finds a new centre but will still hold support groups and attend local events.
At a Gosport Borough Council meeting next week, a proposal has been put forward to consider leasing the old children’s nursery in Phoenix Way, Rowner, to the charity.
Shandrika added: ‘Our team have been absolutely amazing and this is just a new step for us.
‘We started as community group and met every fortnight and then we went to weekly and now we are here. We are excited for the future and thank everyone for their support.’
In previous years, the family centre has been hit by vandals, causing thousands of pounds of damage to equipment.
In one incident 13 tins of paint were taken from the site and splashed across the play centre and nearby tennis courts.
Toys, meant for children with ADHD and autism, were thrown around and a newly refurbished storage shed was broken into, with racks ripped off the walls.
A wooden archway was also damaged.
Crowdfunding pages were set up to help replace and repair what had been broken.
To donate to the charity visit marvelsandmeltdowns.org.uk/fundraising