Best of bud­dies so happy to be back in busi­ness

Ormskirk Advertiser - - Active - BY JAMIE LOPEZ

AUNIQUE Burscough at­trac­tion which was forced to close just three months af­ter its launch has re­opened its doors.

Like so many businesses across the coun­try, Brew and Bud­dies Play and Learn Cen­tre had to close in March as a re­sult of the Covid-19 pan­demic and find new ways to keep money com­ing in.

The cen­tre, lo­cated at Mer­lin Park, com­bines tu­tor­ing with soft play and a cafe to of­fer an ed­u­ca­tional and fun at­trac­tion. Although the soft play area is re­quired to re­main closed, other as­pects of the busi­ness have re­sumed to com­ple­ment other ser­vices in­tro­duced dur­ing lock­down.

Ly­dia Gar­rett, di­rec­tor of Brew and Bud­dies, said: “The first few weeks were re­ally tough. We only opened in De­cem­ber, so every­thing as­so­ci­ated with busi­ness was ter­ri­fy­ing, let alone a pan­demic shut­ting us down.”

With the help of hus­band Simon, she has been able to de­liver treat boxes and lock­down lunches dressed as Peppa Pig or Chase from Paw Pa­trol.

“See­ing the lit­tle ones’ faces, know­ing a lot of them have been stuck in for months, has been re­ally emo­tional. One mum had the delivery as a sur­prise for her lit­tle ones, and she cried!.

“We have been re­ally strict with so­cial dis­tanc­ing so ev­ery­body feels safe. Some fam­i­lies have stayed in­side and Peppa has put her trot­ter up to the win­dow”

Ly­dia, a sec­ondary school English teacher, is now also run­ning so­cially dis­tanced booster/ con­fi­dence classes in the rooms up­stairs.

She said: “We started when the schools opened and ob­vi­ously be­cause I still work in a school, I am acutely aware of the pro­ce­dures that need to be in place for every­one’s safety.

“The chil­dren have been amaz­ing, they’ve gen­uinely raised my spir­its and made me re­alise why Brew and Bud­dies is so im­por­tant for our com­mu­nity. We are pro­vid­ing a bit of struc­ture and fa­mil­iar­ity of school­work, phon­ics, maths, read­ing - all things I know I have strug­gled with at home”

The mar­ried cou­ple have three daugh­ters who have been at home with them and Ly­dia says they fully un­der­stand the stug­gles par­ents have en­dured while schools have been closed.

“De­spite my cho­sen pro­fes­sion, home schooling is a night­mare. The girls all need dif­fer­ent at­ten­tion at dif­fer­ent times and we usu­ally end up fall­ing out over some­thing.

“I em­ploy sev­eral pri­mary school teach­ers who have been amaz­ing at guid­ing me in what to teach the younger chil­dren. We’re all just des­per­ate to go back prop­erly now.

“It’s a big family af­fair, they all worry with me. I’m so lucky to have such sup­port­ive friends and family around me.

“Like every­one else, these last few months have been so un­cer­tain and ter­ri­fy­ing. I’m so glad that every­one I know has man­aged to stay safe.

“We have a new book­ing sys­tem so clean­ing can be planned ef­fi­ciently be­tween play times. I want to make sure every­one feels re­as­sured that they and their chil­dren are safe when they come to Brew and Bud­dies.”

Ly­dia Gar­rett out­side Brew and Bud­dies

Ly­dia with her Peppa pals

Ly­dia with her family

Spe­cial classes are now be­ing run at the cen­tre, above and below

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