COVID-19 Update - Letter to Parents 27th May 2020

I thought it would be good to touch base with you all to see how you are and what your requirements may be over the coming months. I understand that at this difficult time for various reasons, you may not be in a position to say what childcare needs you may require.

I thought it important that we should give you an update on the situation from Sandmartins point of view particularly with the planned phased reopening of schools to commence on the 1st June 2020. I have had a conversation with the school’s Headteacher Mr Beveridge on this matter.

Sandmartins will obviously be guided by current government guidelines at all times.

Due to the various stringent guidelines that are currently in place it is going to be almost impossible for Sandmartins to operate and for that reason we have made the decision not to reopen on the 1st June 2020.

The reopening of Sandmartins will first of all be dependent on the 5 key tests set by the government being achieved.

As you will appreciate social distancing, continued cleaning of equipment and materials will make it very difficult for the children to enjoy being in a play environment at Sandmartins. I would also have children attending from different age groups.

The government guidelines are also stating that the children will be placed in ‘bubbles’ in school and those bubbles would need to be maintained by Sandmartins as the school sets them. This will be difficult to achieve for us with children coming from different classes and the advice from the Department of Education strongly suggests that children will not be allowed to mix in wraparound care at this time.

If things change in the event that we are able to open due to a change in government guidelines please indicate on the enclosed questionnaire what your requirements would be.

If this is not possible for any reason please just send an email. Please return by email to Val Bowbanks address is shown below.

Following your response to the questionnaire this would give us some indication of your needs if things were to change especially over the summer period. At the current time we are not looking to open for the summer, but it would be good to have some indication of your needs if the situation changes.

If the situation does not change then we will unfortunately not be reopening until September but we will keep you posted as things evolve.

The children’s and staff’s safety will be paramount at every stage.

I hope that you will continue to support Sandmartins and that at some stage we will all be back together again and some sort of normality will return.

If you have any further questions please do contact Val Bowbanks by email at

Consultations have also taken place with the Trustees regarding the decision not to reopen on the 1st June 2020 as well as planning ahead in the current situation.

With our best wishes

Stay Safe & Well

Val Bowbanks




The results of our recent OFSTED report are in and we are an outstanding provider. 



Developing the Outside Space

As you will have heard, we have acquired a much larger area of outdoor space for the children to use in kinder weather! Trouble is, there is so much of it we need help with design ideas and development of the area so that it is ready for when the sun shines. We have some ideas, but always welcome more.

Are you arty and able to help us with drawing up some ideas?
Green-fingered to help us with planting and growing?
Practical and able to help us with digging/building and making things?
Willing to supervise a small group of children so that their parents can help in an outdoor capacity?
Great at making tea (and cakes?) for the workers? 
Have the gift of the gab to help convince businesses to donate funds or materials?

This is a BIG project and we could really use your help in making the most of the space for your children and those in the years to come.

The ever-hopeful Sandmartins Team


Garden Club

New Outside Space

As part of the move to our new site, we have now taken ownership of a significant amount of additional outdoor space! The Club Fundraising Team will be working their magic in the New Year on the plans for this extraordinary new space. 

If you have any ideas as to how this space can be transformed for the children then please get in touch!

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Due to the current situation and the government guidelines, whereby schools are to be closed from today, with the exception of front line workers and the vulnerable, Sandmartins regrettably will be CLOSED as from today Friday 20th March 2020 until further notice.

I will be continuing to assess the situation and be guided by government guidelines. If there is a point that I am able to reopen I will not hesitate to do so and I will contact you.

Stay safe and well

Val Bowbanks

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