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‘I haven’t got the energy’ - Popular soft play area closes after 16 years

PUBLISHED: 11:59 16 August 2020 | UPDATED: 09:22 17 August 2020

Monsters soft play area in Diss is set to close after 16 years, pictured are owners Greg and Kathleen Last Picture: Supplied by Monsters

Monsters soft play area in Diss is set to close after 16 years, pictured are owners Greg and Kathleen Last Picture: Supplied by Monsters

Archant

The owners of one of Norfolk’s best-loved soft play areas have made the tough decision to close after 16 years.

Monsters in Diss will not reopen now restrictions have been eased Picture: Supplied by MonstersMonsters in Diss will not reopen now restrictions have been eased Picture: Supplied by Monsters

While soft play centres have now been allowed to reopen, Monsters in Diss will remain closed as owners Greg and Kathleen Last are stepping away from the business.

Although coronavirus has influenced the decision, the main reason is because Mrs Last is currently undergoing treatment for Metastatic breast cancer, where it spreads to other parts of the body.

Mrs Last was first diagnosed with breast cancer eight years ago and later given the all clear, but three years ago it came back in her brain.

READ MORE: ‘Too demanding’: many soft-play areas to remain closed

Owners of Monsters soft play Kathleen and Greg Last Picture: SuppliedOwners of Monsters soft play Kathleen and Greg Last Picture: Supplied

A month ago, doctors discovered a tumour in her lymph nodes and this was the “final straw” for Mr Last as he realised he needed to concentrate on looking after his wife.

Mr Last said: “Back in March when lockdown first occurred we were worried about reopening and all the legislation that goes with it and were proved right.

“We rely on big numbers coming in at the weekends to pay for the week and I could have got a bounce back loan but that is just more expense after a year.

“Monsters was Kathleen’s brainchild and she brought up three kids and kept it going, but when she got ill three years ago I gave up my job as a lorry driver and got a manager in to run the soft play.

Monsters soft play has been a family favourite for 16 years Picture: Supplied by MonstersMonsters soft play has been a family favourite for 16 years Picture: Supplied by Monsters

READ MORE: Theatres, sports grounds and casinos: what you need to know about the latest lockdown measures

“He had to leave last year so I took it back on again, but when the tumour came back in her lymph nodes it was the final straw as I haven’t got the energy to look after my wife and the family and also run a business.”

Over the last 16 years, Monsters has been popular with families across Norfolk and it offers activities including a 40ft slide, rope net walks and a disco room.

Mr Last announced the closure on Facebook and the post has since been shared over 500 times.

Mr Last added: “We have lots of fond memories and our customers have been an absolute pleasure.”


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