Norbury playgroup was started by June Carlos in 1979. With a couple of helpers, the large dining room at the Rectory filled with children, noise and toys. As there was not an early years’ provision in the area, we soon outgrew the Rectory and moved to Norbury Village Hall. The group changed from a Playgroup where mums could leave their children to the present day ‘Mums and Toddlers’ or just ‘Toddlers’ as most people call us.
We meet every Wednesday morning between 10.00 am and 12.00 noon. Some mums can’t wait and arrive before we have put out all the toys and others come in time for coffee at 11.00.
Norbury Toddlers is unusual as it is run by a team of six women: Anita Bright (playleader), Trish Clark, Rachel Coles, Chris Williams, Linda Rice, and Alice O’Leary, who turn up every week of term time, to put out all the toys and to prepare the teas and coffees. The team also make birthday cakes, offer advice, sympathy and give their time to both children and mums, dads, carers and grandparents. Everyone helps us put away the toys, and the children really enjoy helping.
When the children first come to Toddlers they cling to their mums and very few chat to us but they soon get more adventurous, leaving mum just out of sight, the first stage of growing up in a safe and fun setting.
Norbury Toddlers is non-profit making and we try to keep the admission charge low. Myndtown Parish Council and HarryTuffins both donate money to re-new the toys, for which we are very grateful.