Yate Tesco changes leave children's art group in limbo

September 05 2019
Yate Tesco changes leave children's art group in limbo

AN art group for home-educated children is facing an uncertain future after the rent-free room it used at Yate’s Tesco Extra was withdrawn.

The group, which has up to 15 children taking part with their parents, was given a month’s notice that the room would no longer be available.

Parent and grandparent Dawn Hares is passionate about the group.

She said: “Many of the children in the art group have had bad experiences at school with bullying and have been left with anxiety. My daughter has selective mutism, so doesn't speak, but since joining the group she talks and mixes happily with the others in group. My son has brain damage, and seeing the children each week has also benefited him as well.”

Dawn’s granddaughter is also in the group.

Dawn said: “She has been badly burnt on her face, arms, neck and hands and could not face school due to bullying and children commenting and pointing – she has found the group a safe place where she is not called a freak, all the children there just accept her as Evie.”

Parents were told by Tesco that part of the Yate store will now be used by the Arcadia Group, which is responsible for brands such as Top Shop and Wallis, and that consequently there was a re-organisation underway.

In a statement, a Tesco spokesperson said: “During a period when there was some spare floor space at our Yate Extra store, colleagues decided to use it to create a temporary community room to help local charities and community groups in the area.

That spare space is now being taken up with new in-store concessions from September. Our store community champion is working to assist groups that used the temporary community room and has offered the use of the store’s training room when it is not booked for store meetings.”

The community champion is hoping to offer the training room one afternoon a week but hasn’t been able to confirm this.

In the meantime, parents have been looking for another venue, but say their efforts have proved fruitless.

Dawn said: “The cheapest we found was £10 an hour with £50 deposit. We would also have to have our own insurance and because it's an art group for children at least two of the mums would have to be a DBS check.”