A PLAYGROUP which has looked after generations of children has closed after 37 years.

Potter Hill Playgroup in Pickering has been forced to closes its doors after a decline in the need for the service.

The playgroup was a registered charity providing Early Years Foundation stage learning for children aged two to five years.

After opening in 1982, the playgroup was held in the Methodist Church Hall and in recent months at the Memorial Hall.

Playgroup chairman Martha Callaghan said: “It has nurtured many children over the years and has set them up on a long life journey of happy learning.

“Sadly due to many changes over the years, Potter Hill Playgroup has seen a decline in the need for this kind of service.

“So after exploring many options for the playgroup’s future, the difficult decision was made to close its doors.

“I and the committee would like to say a big thank you for all the support over the years, and especially local businesses, Co-op, The Sun Inn pub, Ryedale Lions and many more for the generous donations the playgroup received.

“Thank you also goes to the staff for their commitment shown and for making playgroup the fun, exciting and warm environment that it was and we wish them well.

“We would also like to wish all the children who we have had the pleasure to teach, a very happy future and thank them for all the fun and laughter they brought into playgroup.”