A MUM-of three said her son’s birthday was ruined by “shambolic” organisation at a children’s play centre.
Shelley Heath, 30, took her son Max to Kids’ Corner, near the Wake Arms roundabout in Epping for his fourth birthday on Tuesday, together with her daughters, aged 10 and one.
But after paying the £15.50 entry fee for her children, she said she left early because there were not enough staff to supervise the children and she was disgusted with the untidy centre.
“It was completely shambolic and there were kids running round all over the place,” she said. “My 10-year-old came up to me really upset, saying there were boys in the climbing area pushing and shoving and hurting people and she was too scared to go back in, so her experience was ruined.”
The Chingford resident said she had been sitting in an area roped off for smaller children when people had been drinking tea and coffee, without any staff telling them not to.
“This angered me, as it is common sense not to have hot drinks around small children,” she said. “We went to get a cup of tea and my daughter was in her push chair and the cook walked out of the kitchen with hot food slopping over the sides, straight over my daughter’s head.”
She said that after a member of staff ignored her children as they struggled to use the miniature go-carts at the centre, she decided to leave.
“There was one member of staff on reception and the other was too busy on his mobile phone to watch people on the go-carts,” she added. “I certainly won’t be returning with my children in the near future.”
The district council visited the centre in 2009, after a five-year-old cracked his head open there.
Early last year, single mum Katie Panayiotou told the Guardian how her daughter’s birthday party at the play centre had been ruined by overflowing toilets, no food and no party organiser.
The owner of Kids’ Corner, Brian Patrick, said: “If a person comes in, it’s their responsibility to look after their children.
“The baby area is completely out-of-bounds for hot drinks, but these mums do flaunt the rules.”