New partners turn club into company

Rachel Hartley, front left, hands over the Skids keys to Josie Dennis and Julie Sheppard, front right, with pupils Zach Corcoran and Sophie Falcus, watched by other staff and pupils.'112453
Rachel Hartley, front left, hands over the Skids keys to Josie Dennis and Julie Sheppard, front right, with pupils Zach Corcoran and Sophie Falcus, watched by other staff and pupils.'112453

AN AFTER-school group which was run for 15 years by a parents committee has become a limited company.

Skids, based in Seamer, was threatened with closure following a decline in parents on the committee.

The club had already achieved Silver status in North Yorkshire’s Quality Assurance Scheme, and not wanting it to go to raise Skids managers Josie Dennis and Julie Sheppard, decided to step in and take over the business.

Mrs Dennis said: “I’ve worked at Skids for 10 years and thoroughly enjoyed my time here and with the valued reputation that we’ve built up over the years, I couldn’t sit back and watch the demise of the club, knowing how much our parents rely on it.

“I love my job and the children that come to it - it’s not like a job more like an extended family.

“Julie and I get on really well and share the same values, commitment to the club and the same sense of humour.

“With the backing of our parent/legal guardians and support of our staff, and the school staff I decided to go into partnership and run the club with Julie.”

The Skids club started in January 1995 when it was known as Kids Unlimited and operated from the old school in Seamer Village.

The group has now grown to take up to 50 youngsters a night.

Before taking over the group the new partners worked closely with Seamer and Irton headteacher Jonathan Wanless.

Mrs Sheppard said: “Seamer school was my primary school and the school I chose for my son. It’s a marvellous school and to work so closely with them after all these years is lovely.

“My son grew up through Skids so it seemed the natural decision knowing how much it meant to keep the club open. My son was thrilled when I told him but to be honest without all the support from my partner I couldn’t have done it.”

Mrs Dennis and Mrs Sheppard paid thanks to all the parents, the Skids staff and school staff for “their continued support throughout the transitional period.”