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06 April 2008

Ackroyd Centre

These are exciting times at the Ackroyd Community Centre (Ackroyd Rd, off Brockley Rise, Honor Oak). At the moment, it runs a community nursery, parent and toddler groups and a toy library. But over the next twelve months, it expects to undergo major refurbishment and become a designated Children Centre offering a whole range of services to local children and their families, writes the Centre’s director, Pat Tulloch.

Ackroyd Children & Families in partnership with Ackroyd Community Association and the London Borough of Lewisham is currently considering plans for the refurbishment of the Ackroyd Community Centre as part of Lewisham’s Children Centre Strategy.

The £450k refurbishment programme forms part of phase 2 of the Children Centre Strategy, which will enable Ackroyd Children & Families - a community nursery - to become a designated Children Centre from April 2009. Our particular model is unique because we are based within a community centre and are led by a voluntary management committee many of whom are local parents or live in the local community.

The principle behind Children Centres is that high quality childcare combined with a range of family support services will help raise educational achievement and result in better outcomes for children. Parents and other adults within the community will also benefit from the facilities. As a Children’s Centre, we will provide a programme of holistic services including access to integrated early education, health and family support. For example, we will be developing a parents’ forum and a baby gym from April. We run parent & toddler groups, a toy library, and aim to develop parenting and family learning programmes as well as provide information about children’s services and have benefit and health advisors operating on site

We believe that in order to invest in the wider community we need to first invest in its children and their families. By working in partnership with local schools, health and social care professionals, private and voluntary sector providers, we believe we are better able to build relationships and shape the quality of local services. Dalmain Primary School provides an excellent example of this. It has kindly offered to accommodate us whilst the bulk of the work takes place over the summer. The refurbishment is due to be completed at the end of September.

For further information, please contact Ackroyd Children & Families at 0208-291- 4933

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