New chapter for South Belfast After School Club after YMCA steps in

An after-school club in South Belfast is now Looking forward to a ‘new chapter’ after a young people’s charity stepped in.

Belfast YMCA, which currently cares for 200 children a week at their nursery and after-school facility in Stranmillis, is taking over the 30-place after-school club at St Jude’s Parish Halls on Ravenhill Road.

The current After School Club at this location is managed by Donna Ross who will continue to support the transition and also operate Play Den from her home as a registered childminder on a smaller scale.

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Donna said: “With rising costs and the slow development of a childcare strategy, moving my business to my home was the only way for me to continue.

“We will maintain the ethos of our home forest school and are excited about the next phase. We are also pleased that Belfast YMCA can take over our site and continue to provide high quality childcare in the area.”

Sarah Ferguson, Head of Childcare at Belfast YMCA, added: “We are delighted to be working with Donna to take over her well-established After School Club. Our expansion is designed to meet the childcare needs of the Ravenhill and Ormeau region while partnering with St Jude’s Parish Church, the venue’s owner.

“We understand the pressures that both childcare providers and parents are currently facing and have spoken about the need for a comprehensive childcare strategy.

“We will work to ensure a seamless transition from Play Den to Belfast YMCA. We look forward to this new chapter and the opportunity to better serve the community.”

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