Manchester news Sisters' relief at reopening in 'forgotten' industry of pandemic Manchester united news

MetiNews.Com - When Adventure Forest children's play centre closed in March 2020, the owners never imagined more than a year would pass before they'd be welcoming customers back through the doors

Manchester news Sisters' relief at reopening in 'forgotten' industry of pandemic Manchester united news

MetiNews.Com - When Adventure Forest children's play centre closed in March 2020, the owners never imagined more than a year would pass before they'd be welcoming customers back through the doors

Manchester news  Sisters' relief at reopening in 'forgotten' industry of pandemic Manchester united news
16 May 2021 - 08:52

Breaking News ! When soft play centres reopen in England this week, it won't just be parents breathing a huge sigh of relief. That's because while many businesses have suffered from the closures brought on by the pandemic, indoor play has barely been open at all over the last 14 months. In many ways sisters Kelly Edwards and Jenna Camilleri, who own Adventure Forest play centre in Trafford, say it's been the 'forgotten' industry in all of this. When they closed suddenly in March 2020, they say they 'never imagined we'd be closed for over a year'. The pair have been dogged by setbacks, including a huge flood which hindered their chances of reopening after the first lockdown. Then, just as they prepared to reopen in October, another lockdown was announced. This time round they waited anxiously as the government confirmed just last week that play centres could finally reopen from May 17, giving them the go-ahead for their planned May 20 launch date. The sisters, who opened the business in 2016 and say they're 'really lucky' to have a close family that has supported them throughout, say it can't come soon enough. Kelly Edwards and Jenna Camilleri (Image: ASP) "When we closed in March 2020 we thought it would be for a short time," said Jenna, 37. "We never imagined we'd be closed for over a year. It was devastating having to close our business that we had worked so hard to build up. "It was really emotional locking up for the last time, not knowing when we would be able to reopen. This last year has been extremely difficult for us, like a lot of people, both personally and in relation to our business." The financial impact has been huge, not only outgoings including paying rent on the Trafford Park building while having no income, but also having to spend thousands on alterations needed to make the place Covid safe. They're not the only ones to feel the hit. As members of the Association of Indoor Play, they're aware of more than 100 indoor play centres that have had to close during the pandemic - many of them struggling with a reduced income from having to limit the capacity. "With all the restrictions we had to consider whether our business was still viable," admitted Kelly, 34. "We have worked so hard to build Adventure Forest that we definitely weren't going to give up without a fight - and we will continue fighting for Adventure Forest. (Image: ASP) "The closure has had a massive financial impact. We haven't taken any money for over a year yet have still had to pay huge outgoings as we have no help with things like rent. We received government grants but these did not cover such high outgoings. We are really grateful that furlough has allowed us to protect our staff.

. "Children's play centres have been closed longer than most industries, added Kelly, who lives in Urmston. "By doing this it has implied that we are less safe than the likes of restaurants when actually our guidelines are more strict than other places. "It has felt the whole way through the pandemic that indoor play has been forgotten and we have been moved to fit in with other categories." Reducing capacity by 40% is just one of the added safety measures being introduced from next week. Tables will be socially distanced, there'll be an enhanced cleaning schedule in place and the play frame has been coated with an antimicrobial coating that kills viruses and bacteria that lands on it within 30 days. There'll also be perspex screens in place, temperature checks at the door, a new ventilation system and hand sanitising stations - all measures they hope will give customers the reassurance they need. (Image: ASP) It seems to be doing the trick as families have already started booking sessions after slots were made available online. Jenna, who lives in Sale, said: "We have a reputation for being a very clean play centre as this has always been our top priority, so we hope our customers will have the confidence to return to us. "We understand that some customers will understandably feel nervous about going to any venue. We are hoping everything we have put in place will reassure them." As a mum to a two-year-old daughter, she knows only too well how important places like soft play centres can be - for parents as much as their kids. "The pandemic has been extremely difficult for everyone," she said. "In particular we know it has been very difficult for new parents and lockdown babies who have been unble to socialise and access much-needed support. (Image: ASP) "Being a new parent can already be very lonely and the pandemic completed isolated people. Visiting soft play centres are a great way to meet other parents and gain support while providing a safe, fun and stimulating environment for children to explore. This is vital to physical, social and emotional development." With the industry largely surviving on busy winter months making up for the quieter summer months, they're hoping customers will show them some support and that from June, capacity will be relaxed to allow them to let more families through the doors. For now, they're just delighted to finally be allowed to reopen. "We are really excited to reopen and welcome our lovely customers back," said Kelly. "It has been extremely stressful so we are happy that we can finally open and that things seem to look hopeful for a more normal future." Read More Related Articles How to sign up to our Manchester Family newsletter Read More Related Articles Jurassic Earth brings dinosaurs to life at Tatton Park Pop Up Festival

Source = MetiNews.Com

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Manchester news Sisters' relief at reopening in 'forgotten' industry of pandemic Manchester united news


Manchester news Sisters' relief at reopening in 'forgotten' industry of pandemic Manchester united news


Manchester news Sisters' relief at reopening in 'forgotten' industry of pandemic Manchester united news


Manchester news Sisters' relief at reopening in 'forgotten' industry of pandemic Manchester united news

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