‘Magical’ support for local parents

A YOUNG dad has praised the help he got from a local children’s centre – and urged other parents to give it a try.

By The Newsroom
Saturday, 8th October 2011, 2:38 pm

Scott Sanderson said Prospect Kilton Children’s Centre became like a “second home” for him and his daughter.

The 24-year-old, who lives on Westgate, stayed at home to look after their daughter while his partner went back to work.

“When I first started going to the centre I was unemployed and at home looking after my daughter while my partner went out to work,” he said.

“I went one day a week to a stay and play session and it was great to get out of the house. It was like a second home for us.”

As well as allowing Scott and his daughter to meet other parents and children, the centre also set the ambitious young dad on a new career path.

“I did a food hygiene training course with them, and then went on to do level one in child care,” he said.

“I applied for a job as a play worker at an after school club, which I got. Then I did my level two course through them and am now doing level three.”

The centre is just one of a number of organisations working together in Bassetlaw to support local children and families.

The first ever child and family poverty strategy for the county was approved by Notts County Council at its full council meeting last month as part of the Government’s goal to eradicate child poverty by 2020.

The children’s centre offers a range of services which help lift families out of poverty and help to reduce the negative effects of poverty on children.

Leader of Bassetlaw Council Coun Graham Oxby said effectively tackling child poverty needs a broad approach.

“All council services need to consider their impact on poverty and all agencies need to agree what will work – funding is only part of it,” he said.

“For instance, the council will work with existing networks in Bassetlaw to provide advice, information and training on personal and household money management.”

“This will focus on saving, responsible borrowing by avoiding loan sharks and financial literacy.”

Una Daniel, coordinator at the children’s centre, said people are sometimes nervous about giving it a try.

“But once we get them through the door they often don’t want to leave,” she said.

“We are very welcoming and we listen to what parents, schools and the community want from us and try to provide that.”

“There are lots of activities for children up to three years old and lots of adult education and training courses on offer. People can just call it at any time and see what’s going on.”

Scott’s is just one of many success stories that he hopes will encourage anyone who is nervous about giving the centre a try a nudge in the right direction.

“The service this centre provides to support the overall transition from birth to school is magical,” he added. “People say you can tell the difference between a Surestart baby and a non Surestart baby and I truly believe this.”