Play space wrecked in an arson attack re-opens after refurb
Bright Stars Play Space first opened at Parkgate in 2021 when two teachers established the business for new parents and their children, offering yoga classes, baby massage, sensory sessions and a place to relax.
But at the end of May, co-owners Caroline Austen and Molly Doran, along with the families who use the space, were heartbroken following an arson attach in an adjacent unit which left toys, play-mats and sensory items covered in a layer of soot.
Five months on and Bright Stars HQ – based at Unit B8 Taylors Court – has re-opened its doors to an inviting and welcoming new space.
The revamped former office now features an updated comfy area downstairs for parents to enjoy coffee and cake, and for little ones to play.
Upstairs provides the space for fun and educational sessions including baby yoga, baby massage, learning through fun and games, and sessions including rhythm, rhyme and story-time and family sensory, and 'Welcome to the World' – a set of sessions designed especially for new-borns and new mums and dads .
Co-founder Molly Doran said: “It feels great to open bookings for our classes, invite everyone down and to welcome people back.
“It is a busy time for us with sessions running, the play space downstairs open throughout the day and themed parties up to Christmas.”
Fellow Bright Stars Play Space co-founder Caroline Austen added: “We know how important the space is to people.
“Yes, what we do is nice, relaxing, and creates some lovely memories for our families, but it is often more important than that.
“It’s about mental health, creating a community, a place for parents to meet and create friendships and to talk without judgement. It’s a perfect first outing for new borns.
“Running a business is hard and I felt so low when we were told that we would have to throw everything out and start again.
“But with resilience, determination, strength and hard work, we are back.”