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New under-5s drop-in in the Borough to replace lost Chipper Club

Three months after Charterhouse-in-Southwark's Chipper Club playgroup closed its doors, a new series of drop-in sessions for under-5s and their parents is about to start.

Chipper Club at St George's
'1st Place in the Community' users and staff with St George's parish priest Fr Ray Andrews

In September we reported on the campaign to save the Chipper Club, the long-running under-5s playgroup based at Charterhouse-in-Southwark, which was shutting down as part of the charity's closure of its range of local services.

Thanks to an injection of new funding from Southwark Council, a new series of drop-in sessions for under-5s will start in the new year in the newly refurbished crypt of St George the Martyr church in Borough High Street.

After the Chipper Club closed its doors 1st Place Children's and Parents' Centre in Burgess Park recruited some of the staff from Charterhouse and together they put together a bid for funding to run drop-in sessions in the Borough.

'1st Place in the Community' begins on Tuesday 6 January and will offer drop-ins each week on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday mornings from 10.30am to 12.30pm.

Last week staff organised three taster sessions and there are two more before the Christmas break on Tuesday 16 and Friday 19 December.

1st Place is looking for other venues in the area where it can make full use of the soft play equipment inherited from Chipper Club.

"St George's is delighted to have an opportunity to serve the children of the community and their parents and carers," says parish priest Fr Ray Andrews.

"It's a great opportunity for us and we very warmly welcome 1st Place to St George's."

• To find out more about the drop-in – or if you can suggest suitable premises in the Borough locality – contact 1st Place Children's and Parents' Centre on 020 7740 8070.

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