Creche closure puts people's lives at risk

THE CRUCIAL role the creche at Penarth Leisure Centre plays in the community has been highlighted by a disabled mother who says that people's lives are at stake.

The proposed closure of the creche would be an enormous blow for Rachel Yeo, 26, who has been referred to the gym by a mental health team due to a neurological disorder that has caused her to gain weight and put her well being in jeopardy.

Rachel suffers from excess fluid on the brain, and medication has caused her to put on weight. She has been referred to the gym where she can have the support of a physio to help her back to both physical and mental well being.

With Penarth Leisure Centre being her local gym and the only nearby facility with a creche, Rachel - who is single mother to a three-year-old daughter - says that the closure would have a devastating effect on her life.

"The gym referral is from my mental health team, this is very important to me. Without the creche I can't access the gym.

"I'm absolutely gutted about it and it's not just me there are other mums and single parents in the same position."

The support Rachel, of Cogan, Penarth, receives at the gym has had significant benefits to her health and to her confidence, all possible due to her being able to leave her daughter in the creche while she exercises.

"It's been hard for me and my daughter, " she said. "I'm trying to get better and if the creche goes I'm back to square one.

"My mental health and physical health would deteriorate. The confidence I have gained will leave.

"It really upsets me and I just want them to reconsider closing it. People's lives are at stake."

Parkwood Leisure who run the Leisure Centre on behalf of the Vale council have said that due to lack of use, the future of the creche is currently under review.

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