A DECADES-old Darlington playgroup that faced closure unless it found a new home has been helped by the son of one its original founders.

Eastbourne Playgroup had been based in Eastbourne Methodist Church for 40-years but needed to find a new base with an outdoor area for the children.

During the search it emerged that Sean Thomas, facilities support manager for Darlington Borough Council, was the son of Marion Thomas who originally founded the playschool the 1970s.

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He has now worked with current playgroup manager Gail Wilkinson to help the school move in to a new home at the Eastbourne Sports Complex.

Mrs Wilkinson said: “It made us feel that this would be the right move, as it felt like our group had come full circle.

“The children absolutely love it; they love being given the chance to explore outside and the environment spurs them on to be more communicative.

“We now feel that this really is our new home and hope we will remain here as long as we were in the old one.”

The school is open weekday mornings and caters for children aged two to four-years-old.