Chruch proves playgroup’s saviour

A LINLITHGOW playgroup is celebrating after finding a new home.

Preston Playgroup was forced out of the Rivaldsgreen Centre following damage to the building caused by November and December’s severe weather.

The long-running playgroup found temporary shelter at Linlithgow Bowling Club and it has now come to an agreement with St Ninian’s Craigmailen Church to use the Longcroft Hall.

The playgroup will be meeting in its new premises from mid-May and is planning an open day in June to celebrate the move.

Lesley Livingstone, playgroup vice-chairwoman, said: ‘‘St Ninian’s Craigmailen Church has given us the go-ahead to use the Shield Room at the Longcroft Hall as our new venue which is fantastic news.

‘‘West Lothian Council has also agreed to do some work on the premises for us including new flooring, all the walls painted, new locks on the doors and fencing round a very large grassy area outside to which we will have direct access.

‘‘Not all of this will be in place by May but it will be continuing for a few months and we will be pushing them as much as we can.’’

Lesley said that the playgroup - which has some vacancies for children aged from two years six months - will now meet on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 9.15-11.45 am and Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 12.30-3pm.

The Rev. W. Richard Houston of St Ninian’s Craigmailen Parish Church said: ‘‘The congregational board make a decision to support the playgroup.

‘‘We are delighted to have been able to offer it alternative accommodation.’’

The playgroup mounted a vigorous campaign in support of its bid to find a new home. Mums organised a well-supported petition and launched a page on the Facebook social networking site.

They also lobbied the town’s three members on West Lothian Council in an unsuccessful bid to have the Rivaldsgreen Centre repaired so that they could remain there.

Parents of prospective playgroup members can contact Lesley on 07866 558291 or 07704 828854 or email