We’ve been really struck by the trust and affection people feel towards Sure Start. We want to give a voice to these feelings to show the tragic human impact of Sure Start cuts.
These are the experiences of a Children’s Centre that my daughter and I have had for the past year. This is my story.
Unfortunately I was in an abusive marriage. Due to this I had to leave, even though my baby was only months old.
I had no family support and had to stay with a friend. It was a very turbulent and difficult time.
Gradually I became stronger and set on pursing a happy life for my daughter. Some months later my daughter and I moved into our own home. During this time we received a great amount of support from a local Councillor. This dedicated support meant so much to me.
I was fortunate that there is a Children’s Centre just down the road from my new home. Initially I was worried about registering: I was anxious that I may be judged or asked questions.
However none of this took place.
The manager had a meeting with me and we had a brief chat. She put me at ease and immediately I felt comfortable in the centre. Staff where exceptionally friendly and helpful.
I feel very much that the Children Centre is like a second home.
My daughter is now a toddler and thoroughly enjoys the play and interaction with other children. I have seen her develop profoundly at the Centre. The Centre is very safe and as my daughter runs around and plays it also gives me some me time. I felt quite isolated before as I have no family support, but I have made friends at the Centre and enjoy socialising with other mums.
The Centre is amazing, it really is a gem. I would have struggled a lot without it. Staff have been a huge support network for me and have helped me to progress. They have assisted me in a very lengthy court cases and a long struggle to find permanent housing It has been a very difficult process. But the help and support of the Centre has made my life easier. I have recently compelted a sewing course and I have also received support with childcare. Throughout, the kindness and support of staff has been truly amazing.
I believe the current government are making a grave mistake closing down Children’s Centres.
They are creating so much heartache and unnecessary grief to families. It also affects community cohesion. Children’s Centres are an integral part of the community, particularly for those with special needs – they create harmony and friendship, learning and development.
This government are behaving recklessly in making cuts and closures to our Children’s Centres.
It is my hope, and that of many parents, that we need to keep our Children’s Centres open now and for the future. They serve a beautiful purpose in helping our communities to flourish.
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The Government is getting away with closing Sure Start Centres because voices like Nusrah’s are not being heard.
Labour Friends of Sure Start wants to change this. We want to celebrate the stories of all those who have experienced the power of Sure Start first hand.