Couple both lose jobs as ten nurseries close
PUBLISHED: 13:03 28 November 2019 | UPDATED: 14:38 28 November 2019
User groups and staff were locked out of a charitable trust's Great Yarmouth's headquarters after it went into liquidation.
A group of around 12 people were waiting to retrieve property like instruments for music groups and tools from the Priory Centre and were finally let in at around 10.30am.
Among them were Caister couple Angie and Ken Wright who have both lost their jobs with the collapse of Great Yarmouth Community Trust.
The Great Yarmouth Community Trust's liquidation has impacting up to 450 families.
Its nurseries which have closed are Calthorpe Nursery, Peggotty Nursery, Priory Day Nursery and Willow Day Nursery - all of which are in Great Yarmouth. The Seagulls Day Nursery in Gorleston has also shut its doors.
A further three nurseries which have closed are the Ladybird Day Care at Kirkley Children's Centre, the Little Ducks Day Nursery - both in Lowestoft - and the Little Blossoms Nursery in Filby.
In addition, the charitable trust runs the Horatio House school in Lowestoft and Nexus Engineering in Gorleston - both of which have closed.
The Little People's Montessori nursery in Norwich is a subsidiary of the Trust but will not be affected by the liquidation.
Mr and Mrs Wright were waiting for someone to give them access to a van where Mr Wright, who worked in maintenance for the trust, kept some of his own tools.
He had worked for the trust since February.
Mrs Wright had been a nursery practitioner at Peggotty Road Nursery for some seven years.
The double jobs' blow on the day they both should have been paid would hit them hard, Mr Wright said.
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"We both work for the trust and we have not been paid and I do not know what we are going to do to pay our rent," he said.
"We have no savings. The impact is going to be colossal."
Mrs Wright added: "I am going to miss all the children. It is a tragedy."
Meanwhile Adrian Tester, estates team leader for the trust, said he was angry about how the collapse had been handled.
With just £20 to his name he said his situation was desperate, especially being so close to Christmas.
Yarmouth was not an affluent area, he added, and people on a shoestring budget could be pushed into poverty.
Mr Tester said people should have been given more notice adding that problems behind the scenes had been "cloaked in secrecy."
"People should have known their jobs were on the line," he said.
"The trust was in a noose and someone was going to pull it."
Ten nurseries and day care centres across Norfolk and Suffolk have closed - with 136 people facing redundancy.
Both Norfolk and Suffolk County Councils are working to re-open the nurseries or provide alternative nursery provision as quickly as possible.
A spokesman for Norfolk County Council said: "We are hopeful of offering new jobs to the vast majority of the front-line Norfolk nursery staff. It is our ambition to get nursery provision for children and parents back on track as soon as possible."