Closed mobility shop in Fareham to become to become play-centre pop-up previously based in AFC Portchester

A unit left vacant after the closure of a mobility store in Portchester is to become a children’s play centre.

Saturday, 4th January 2020, 6:00 am
Updated Saturday, 4th January 2020, 6:05 am
The Busy Town play centre in its previous home at AFC Portchester.

Busy Town, which provides a play service for pre-schoolers, will be moving from hosting sessions at AFC Portchester to its new home in 25 West Street, Portchester, starting at the end of January.

They will fill the unit left vacant after an All Mobility branch closed last year.

Hannah Kirk 36, who set up the scheme in 2018 with her sister Julie Middle, aged 44, said ‘it means the world’ to be moving to the their ‘dream’ location.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Hannah Kirk and her sister Julie, the founders of Busy Town play centre.

She said: ‘Having our own premises means we will be able to offer this to even more people as we will have so much more availability and choice.

‘If I'm honest, it means the world to us.

‘We have always wanted to have a place right in the precinct and we are so excited.’

Busy Town play centre was set up because of a ‘lack of groups’ in the area, according to founder Hannah.

She said: ‘Our family has lived in Portchester for more than 60 years and we have raised our own children here.

‘We love the village dearly but we found there was a lack of groups, and we wanted to offer more to families with young children within our community.

‘We have both felt quite isolated as new mums.

‘Not having many friends who also had toddlers meant we had to attend groups with lots of people we didn't know at first and we found it quite nerve-wracking.’

Free refreshments are offered to parents and carers attending with a child.

The play centre will be open from 9.30am to 3pm Monday to Friday, with weekend openings dependent on popularity.