Water leak turns St Albans play centre ‘into rainforest’

DJ's Jungle Adventure managing director Helen Whittington has been forced to close for around a mont

DJ's Jungle Adventure managing director Helen Whittington has been forced to close for around a month after a gutter overflowed and caused water to flood the play centre - Credit: Archant

A children’s jungle-themed play centre was “turned into a rainforest” after a leak in the roof caused rainwater to gush through in the middle of the day.

DJ’s Jungle Adventure, an indoor soft play centre in St Albans Road in Sandridge, is currently closed while refurbishment takes place following a sudden leak late last month – and may not reopen until the end of May.

Managing director Helen Whittington said: “It has had a devastating effect on us and came as a shock to us all. The jungle turned into a rainforest.

“The roof leaked as there was a guttering issue which is the landlord’s responsibility and we had to get the children off the play equipment as it happened during the day!

“It did manage to dry out as it was in quite a concentrated spot but the roof wasn’t fixed immediately despite the builder coming out on that day.”

Helen added that unfortunately rainfall the following Sunday spoilt a child’s birthday party and caused the centre’s special educational needs meeting on May 3 to be cancelled and the centre to close on May 4.

Members of staff will also be out of work until the centre reopens.

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Helen went on: “I went in that day to try and recover it but I think I was in denial because I thought we could get a carpet cleaner in to try and dry it out but then realised the whole play area is sat in a puddle of water!”

She added that other local businesses have been helpful in taking on the centre’s birthday parties, despite being “competitors.”

“Hopefully this will mean people remember us when we reopen.

“We are really in the centre of the community – ironically children like coming to us on a rainy day because it means they can still play!”

The centre has also cancelled bookings in June in case it has not reopened by then as well as a number of charity days.

Helen said: “There has been a lot of damage to the play equipment and to the flooring but hopefully it means that when we do open it will be fresh and clean.

“However, this will mean a lot of lost income and is a surefire way to run a business into the ground because even when we open again up it’s going to take a while for us to find our feet again and pick ourselves up.”