Mum’s shock at Sheffield nursery closure

Shellshocked: Julie Wragland with son Billy Jones, two, who has leukaemia and attends Little Green House.
Shellshocked: Julie Wragland with son Billy Jones, two, who has leukaemia and attends Little Green House.
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A MOTHER who moved house to be closer to her sick son’s nursery has been left devastated by its sudden closure.

Julie Wragland relocated to a house in Low Edges just months ago to be nearer to nursery for her two-year-old son William Jones, who is battling leukaemia.

Now Julie has been shellshocked to discover Little Green House, operated by charity Barnardo’s, is being forced to shut at the end of the month due to council budget cuts.

The news came as a ‘bolt from the blue’ to the single mum, who praised the nursery for helping to bring on William - known as Billy - in his development. The youngster has fallen behind other children his age through prolonged spells in hospital since he was diagnosed with cancer at just eight-and-a-half months old.

Julie, aged 31, said: “He started nursery in October last year and I wanted to be closer to it in case I had to get there quickly.

“He is doing okay at the minute but it gets quite bad when he goes down – they’ve seen it happen at the nursery.

“One of the reasons I moved here was because the nursery is right across the road. It gave me peace of mind as a parent that I could get to him if I needed to.

“I fought to get him a place because he was not developing, he’d spent so long in a hospital bed.

“We knew there were cuts coming but we didn’t know there were financial implications for the Barnardo’s nursery.

“Sheffield Council said they were helping and didn’t want any nurseries to close but this has happened and there are lots of parents without anywhere to go who rely on it.”

William will continue receiving oral chemotherapy until October. He has regular spells of illness as a result of his treatment.

Dawn Walton, Sheffield Council’s assistant director of early intervention, said: “After careful consideration Barnardo’s decided to withdraw their service, finding that after a year the demand was not as they had expected.

“Letters have now gone out to parents to make sure they are aware, and we will support staff to make sure the closure runs smoothly and there is as little disruption to the children as possible.

“We will speak to all parents about the options in the area.”