LINSEY Burn thought she had everything sorted for her son Nathan’s sixth birthday party.
The balloons and cake were there, and the bouncy castle had arrived.
But the Ryhope 28-year-old was shocked the find the venue, Doxford Community Centre, locked and with no one in.
“I arrived early to start setting things up,” she said, “but the whole place was closed, even the shutters were down.
“The van with the bouncy castle arrived, and the balloons, and we had all the decorations ready to set up.”
After waiting for about half an hour trying to get in contact with staff from the centre, eventually Linsey was able to get in.
“We rang my sister’s childminder, who runs a class there and has keys, and she came and let us in.
“She didn’t have keys for the toilet or anything though, so no one could use them.”
Guests at the party had arrived by the time Linsey was able to get into the centre.
“We were setting things up as the guests were coming in,” she said.
“The bouncy castle was going up and people were sitting round waiting for it.
“I bought loads of decorations because it was a pirate party, inflatable palm trees and all kinds, and they never got used.
“I ended the party early because it was a disaster.”
Linsey said she booked Nathan’s party in August for the end of September, and in the weeks running up to it she had had problems contacting people at the centre.
Since the party, she has also been unable to contact anyone to complain.
Linsey said she was charged a late fee for the bouncy castle, and wants to claim the money back from the community centre.
The Echo rang Doxford Community Centre. When asked about Linsey’s allegations, a spokeswoman said: “I disagree.
“The party did go ahead and there were not a lot of problems. So I disagree with that.”