Essex families to benefit from new facility

PUBLISHED: 10:07 29 June 2010 | UPDATED: 10:50 06 July 2010

Opening of Sure Start.
Dunmow.
June 26, 2010.
Photograph by Michael Boyton.
Pic shows: Wendy and Oliver cut the ribbon as others look on.
Names: Wendy Barron (mayor of Dunmow); Oliver Farrington (aged 5); Sam Farrington (Mum); Teddy farrington (aged 2).

Opening of Sure Start. Dunmow. June 26, 2010. Photograph by Michael Boyton. Pic shows: Wendy and Oliver cut the ribbon as others look on. Names: Wendy Barron (mayor of Dunmow); Oliver Farrington (aged 5); Sam Farrington (Mum); Teddy farrington (aged 2).

Archant

YOUNG families, especially those with less privileged backgrounds, can have a surer start in life thanks to a new children's facility in Great Dunmow.

"Having young children in a small community can make people feel cut off"

Frances Muscutt

The Little Goslings Centre, based at the refurbished old library in North Street, will be a one-stop shop for parents eager for advice during those important first few years.

Its aim is to help all families with children under the age of five by offering help and support to young parents, lone parent families, and families that feel isolated.

As one of the many Sure Start Children’s Centres commissioned by Essex County Council, the facility will be run by the Action for Children charity.

Outreach family support worker, Frances Musutt, said: “Having young children in a small community can make people feel cut off and on their own especially if they do not have any support.

“This program brings together childcare, early education, health and family support services. It was the cornerstone of the previous government’s drive to tackle child poverty and social exclusion.

“We work with future parents, current parents, carers and children to promote the physical, intellectual and social development of babies and young children to allow them to flourish at home and at school.”

She added: “The main purpose is to improve the outcomes of young children with a particular focus on the most disadvantaged.”

The centre is situated next to the town’s youth centre forming one place for ages groups ranging from 0 to 18. The old building has undergone a startling transformation after being extensively refurbished and decorated to make it inviting for all.

Four workers have already been employed and three more set to join soon. They will work in Dunmow as well as providing outreach services in surrounding villages.

The centre opened its doors for the first time on Saturday (June 26) and families went along to enjoy a picnic in the sunshine to celebrate.

Mrs Musutt added: “This is a very exciting time for the centre staff and we are hoping that more families will get involved in the planning of our services.

“We hope everyone comes along to see for themselves what a difference the centre can make to people and their families.”

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