A GRIFFITHSTOWN playgroup which was threatened with closure after its boiler broke is celebrating after the community rallied round to save it.

Staff at Golliwopsie Playgroup and Lunch Club feared they might have had to close after its boiler insulation fell through the ceiling, causing the children’s toilets to flood.

The group were told it would cost up to £3,000 to install a new boiler and heating system.

But the community rallied behind the playgroup, raising the funds to install a new boiler over half term.


Alison Allen, a member of staff at the playgroup, said: “Golliwopsies have been overwhelmed with the generosity of everyone who has supported us in so many different ways.

“Katie Yemm, a parent who has had three generations of her family attend Golliwopsies, set up an appeal on Facebook, and offers of financial support, help and assistance came flooding in from the local community.

“It raised over £1,000 in just a few weeks.

“The community supported us generously with donations. St Oswald’s and St Hilda’s Church held a coffee and cake fundraising morning for us.”

South Wales Argus:

(The damage caused at Golliwopsie Playgroup and Lunch Club. Picture: Katie Yemm)

The Pontypool Round Table also helped fund the new boiler, while AP Waters Building Contractors Ltd offered to fit the new system free of charge during half term.

“Quite a few members of the Round Table either came here or their families have,” said Mark Jude, chairman of Pontypool Round Table.

“The money we raise from our annual fireworks display is from this community, so it’s only right to put it back into this community.”

Adrian Waters, of AP Waters Building Contractors Ltd and previous chairman of the Round Table, said: “It is a great cause and has been massively used over the years in the community.

South Wales Argus:

(The damage caused at Golliwopsie Playgroup and Lunch Club. Picture: Katie Yemm)

“My children came here about 20 years ago.

“We were only too happy to help out.”

Ms Allen said: “The playgroup has been part of the community since 1976 and it’s been so uplifting to know that it’s still in the hearts of so many people.

“To go from the threat of closure to seeing the children returning after half term to a warm cosy room has been amazing.”

Through their appeal, the playgroup also received other offers of help, such as Renew Wales, which will visit the playgroup to work with the children to teach them about being more energy efficient and eco-friendly.