New Sure Start Children’s Centre for Southchurch

A brand new Sure Start Children’s Centre will be formally opened on 10 December 2010 offering health and family support services for all children aged 0 to 19 in the Southchurch area. It will join the new Leigh and West Leigh Children’s Centres as the third NHS-managed Children’s Centre to open in the Borough since October 2009.

The Hamstel Children and Family Centre is situated next door to Hamstel Infant School and Nursery on Hamstel Road in Southchurch.

To celebrate the formal opening an official ribbon cutting ceremony will be taking place at the Children’s Centre on 10 December 2010 from 12.00 noon until 2.00 pm. The Deputy Mayor, Cllr David Normal will cut the ribbon; other guests include Ms Gill Hind, Chairman, and Arms Length Management Board for NHS South East Essex, Mr Paul Greenhaigh, Corporate Director of Children and Learning, Cllr Rodger Hadleigh, port folio holder for Children and Learning and Ms Sarah St Pierre, Director Children, Young People and Families.

The formal opening will provide an important opportunity for service professionals to meet the team who will be responsible for running the Hamstel Children and Family Centre, find out more about what the new centre has to offer and to leave any comments or suggestions they may have. The centre has been specifically designed to support the needs of the local community and feedback from our ongoing consultations will play a vital role in determining the future development of child and family services at the centre.

The new centre is part of a ground-breaking Government initiative to ensure that every child has the best start in life, and will provide access to high quality seamless health and advisory services under one roof. All services will be open to families with babies and children up to the age of 19.

The Hamstel Children and Family Centre will provide access to the following services:

  • Advice and support for parents and carers
  • Child and family health services, from health visitors to breastfeeding support and a new immunisation clinic.
  • Crèche facilities, play and early learning for babies and toddlers, family learning, family cooking.
  • Help in finding child care, employment and training, including links with Jobcentre Plus
  • Family fun and a place to meet friends

Speaking about the new children’s centre in West Leigh, Sarah St Pierre, Director Children, Young People and Families at NHS South East Essex Community Healthcare said:

“I wish the Hamstel Children and Family Centre every success. By giving young children access to high quality integrated care and early education and support, Sure Start is helping to improve their life chances and unlock their potential. Good, affordable and accessible childcare also enables parents to take up work, education or training and this has a knock-on effect in reducing child poverty. That is why the Government is committed to ensuring that every child has the best start in life and families in every community have access to a children’s centre”.

Families wanting to know more about the new Hamstel Children and Family Centre should contact Imelda Callowhill, Children’s Centre Co-ordinator, on 07712 095401.

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