CONCERNED mums have told of their fears after it was revealed that an 'essential' childcare group they rely on could close.

We previously told of how the G81 Kids Club, an afterschool care group based in Whitecrook, were fighting to stay open after West Dunbartonshire Council confirmed that the hub it operates out of – Clydebank East Community Centre - is set to close for good at the end of March.

The privately-run club currently cares for around 34 children five days a week from 3pm to 6pm. 

Owners Nicole Wilson and Jean Norwood say the decision to close the centre leaves parents at a loose end in terms of what they are going to do for child care after March 29.

Amongst those who could be impacted by the group’s potential closure are Svitlana Komke, Karen Newlands, and Trish Campbell.  

Svitlana’s young son Tymer attends the G81 Kids Club daily whilst she works and studies at college.

The family travelled to Scotland from Ukraine in 2022 after Russian forces invaded the country.

Svitlana told our reporter that if the club shuts she doesn’t know what she will do for childcare as she has no family in Scotland.

Clydebank Post: Svitlana KomkeSvitlana Komke (Image: Supplied)

She said: “I can’t even imagine this centre closing because I don’t have any relatives or close friends here.

“I have just found a job and I’m studying at college. My husband is in Ukraine so I’m here myself and my daughter who is 18 is also studying so can’t pick my son up from school.

“My son has learned to communicate in English and just found some friends, this is a horrible situation.”

Karen’s seven-year-old son Stephen has been going to the group for the past two years.

She explained that due to the nature of her job, she will “100 per cent have to quit” if the club closes.

Clydebank Post: Karen NewlandsKaren Newlands (Image: Newsquest Staff)She added: “I’m shocked, I genuinely wasn’t expecting this. I don’t know what I’m going to do, I don’t have any other child support.

“My mum is ill with cancer so I can’t ask her to watch him. When I first came here I was really nervous.

“I was nervous about leaving Stephen with anybody so I’ve built up trust here. I trust Jean and Nicole, I don’t know what I’ll do.

"I will 100 per cent have to leave my job. I work in a bar so I can’t take my son to work with me.”

Trish works as an intensive care nurse and told the Post that she is "disgusted" with the decision to close Clydebank East. 

Her daughter Olivia attends the G81 Kids Club twice a week which she says is "essential" for allowing her to do her job. 

Trish said: "Our service [intensive care] is not flexible in terms of working hours so I would have to try and get another job somewhere else but we also can't afford to pay for more childcare.

"Olivia is in two days a week and it works really well. I rely on this service because this is the only childcare that I've got because there isn't anybody else available to pick her up from school, no one finishes at 3pm.

"If this closes it leaves not just myself but other parents and their kids without any childcare in the area.

"They've [G81 Kids Club] only been given eight weeks notice which is absolutely disgusting and I'm appalled at the council for doing this to us especially when we are trying our best to go out and work and pay our bills and this is how we are treated. 

"This service is affordable for us but I have no idea where we go from here. I think we need to stand up as parents together and fight for this as it's essential in this area, we don't have anywhere else for our kids to go."

A WDC spokesperson said: “The review of community facilities was agreed as part of the council’s budget setting in March 2023 in response to a £21million funding gap.

“Community groups using impacted centres have been regularly updated, including being given information on community asset transfer, and we continue to offer support to secure alternative premises.

“As a business, G81 Kids Club is not eligible for a community lease or asset transfer.”