THE leader of St Augustines Church Hall's Thursday morning playgroup is stepping down after 13 years.

Volunteer Pat Braey, who has run 'Tots, Tea and Toast' for the past 10 years, took her final session as leader shortly before the Easter break.

Parents grouped together to raise money for farewell gifts for Ms Braey, who was presented with a shopping voucher and flowers at her final session.

Tots, Tea and Toast returns on Thursday, April 19 with a new play leader, Shelley Barrett, although Ms Braey will remain to make and hand out toast to the children, alongside her colleague Marion Rowlands.

Ms Barrett said: "My plan is to keep the spirit that Pat brought to playgroup.

"As my background is as an actress, I can’t help but want to bring in some drama and performing, but we’ll see how the group develops and let it grow organically.

"The main focus has to be parents and carers getting the chance for a chat and a cuppa while the little ones socialise and play."

Parent Elspeth Harding added: "Everyone will be very sorry to see Pat step down from running Tea and Toast as she has been loved by so many over the years.

"Pat and Marion always made us feel so welcome.

"If there is one person I know with as much enthusiasm as Pat, it is Shelley!"

Tots, Tea and Toast meet every Thursday between 9.15am and 11.15am at St Augustines Church Hall, Albert Road. Parents, carers and children aged 0-3, as well as older siblings, are all welcome.