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Challengers Guildford Play Centre Fire – 10th September 2017

Challengers Guildford Playcentre after the fire

Following the fire on the play floor on Sunday 10th September at our Guildford Playcentre, we have been working hard to get our Play & Pre-School services up and running as quickly as possible. We have been overwhelmed by the kind words and offers of support from the community and so far we have received over £50,000, which is just incredible.

We are very proud of the team that managed this and are thankful to the Fire Service for their support.

What is damaged?

The downstairs play floor is damaged and the schemes will not be able to run.

The upstairs office is undamaged and the staff team have now returned to work which is a huge step forward.

What caused the fire?

The fire inspector verbally confirmed that the fire started in the utility room and was caused by the tumble drier – the machine was not in use at the time.

Is the damage insured?

Following the fire at our Guildford Play Centre which has devastated our beautiful play floor, we have now received an estimate of what it cost to repair the damage, this is estimated at around £600,000 for the building work alone. The charity is insured and the claim is in process. At this time we ae are confident that our insurance will cover the major part of the rebuilding programme and other associated costs. As with any insurance claim we will not know the cost to the charity until it has been settled.

Can we help?

To help get Challengers up and running again as quickly as possible the best thing to do is donate – you can do this online.

People have been so generous with their donations and the kind words alongside them are making a huge difference to all involved – thank you from all of the orange team. If you have any questions about how you can help, please email fundraising@disability-challengers.org.

When will services be up and running?

The team have been working hard to find a temporary venue for the Play and Pre-School schemes to run from. We are pleased to say that from Sunday 24th September we will be running from the building adjacent to Challengers – Urban Saints.

  • We ran successfully from this centre when we were re-building the Guildford Playcentre in 2013.
  • We know that we can make this building safe & secure and a warm and friendly place for the children to play in.
  • The staff team will be the same and they will work hard to make sure all children settle in to the new venue.

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to get in touch on 01483 230 930 or email KatLink@disability-challengers.org.

Progress update – October 2017

The emergency building works are now complete and we are moving onto the next steps to repair the full electrics to the centre which started the week commencing the 2nd October. After this, full work on the repair will start which will be beginning in November.

Our plan would be that the play centre will re-open for the February 2018 half term. We will of course continue to update families when we are able to confirm a definite opening date.

Laura Sercombe, Challengers CEO said: “We are so happy and proud of the team for the progress that we have made in the last three weeks. Our priority has been to ensure our play and pre-school services are back on their feet and we are so happy to welcome back the families that use our service. We are humbled and overwhelmed by the incredible continued support from the local community and are looking ahead to the work starting on the Guildford Playcentre. Thank you to everyone for supporting Challengers at what has been a difficult time.”