Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 12°C

min temp: 11°C


Ipswich: Popular Ormiston children’s centre set to close at end of month

10:45 13 March 2014

Megan Williams with her son David Gatt, two and a half, is upset that the Ormiston Children

Megan Williams with her son David Gatt, two and a half, is upset that the Ormiston Children's Centre on Felixstowe Road is due to close at the end of the month.

Hundreds of families have been dealt a blow after it was announced a popular children’s centre will close its doors at the end of the month.


Ormiston Children and Families Trust’s children’s centre in Felixstowe Road, described as a one-stop shop for a range of services for parents-to-be and families of under fives, will shut on March 31.

It comes after Suffolk County Council decided against extending the charity’s contract to run the services.

From April 1, the service will be provided by the county council from other locations in the area.

The closures comes as a bitter disappointment to the hundreds of families that use the centre which offers 16 different groups including baby massage, a breastfeeding workshop, messy play, speech and language sessions and a drop-in session for the Polish community.

Megan Williams, of Ransome Road, Ipswich, visits the children’s centre with her two-year-old son David Gatt on a regular basis.

The 24-year-old said: “It’s absolutely ridiculous that the children’s centre is closing.

“We’ve been told that some of the groups such as baby massage and children’s activities will be held at places including Rosehill Library and Hatfield Road Church but those facilities are not suitable. They are designed as a church and library not centres for children’s activities.”

An Ormiston spokesman said: “Ormiston have been told that the county council’s decision to bring all its external contracts for children’s centres to an end is in order to ‘meet procurement regulations and to best determine how such services will be delivered in the future’.

“It is not a reflection of the service that Ormiston have provided to children and families in Ipswich for over six years through the centre.”
The spokesman said the charity is determined to continue serving local children from the site after the closure.

“We are looking into the possibility of opening a nursery on the Felixstowe Road site, and we will be running a drop-in and play session every Tuesday morning from April 8,” he added.

“Ormiston have appreciated the community support during this time, and will work with our neighbours and local families as we develop new services.”

Ormiston’s other services across East Anglia are unaffected by the closure of the children’s centre.

A Suffolk County Council spokesman said: “All of the services currently provided from Ormiston children’s centre will continue to be available, albeit from alternative venues.

“Baby changing facilities are either already available at the other venues, or will be made available when sessions are on. “We are also investigating the possibility of making improvements to permanent facilities at one of these venues.”


1 comment

  • This is ridiculous. I regularly used the Ormiston Centre when my little girl was a baby. The drop-in weigh and play sessions were great and really useful when I needed reassurance about something without wasting the time of a doctor. At baby massage classes it was clear that the centre provides much needed support, particularly for vulnerable families. Without the centre these families will lose that connection with healthcare and childcare professionals, and that contact with other families which is so valuable when you are in the first few months of parenting. Shame on you SCC.

    Report this comment


    Thursday, March 13, 2014

Police closed Felixstowe Road, Ipswich.

A man has been taken to hospital after the motorcycle he was riding collided with a van.

Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service called to Foxhall Road, Ipswich.

Firefighters were called to help a young child who got their head trapped between two bollards.

The accident has closed the road

A lorry driver became trapped in his vehicle after it overturned on the A1071 at Hintlesham this afternoon.

Andrew Shemming, daughter Annabelle and their dog Puzzle

She’s called Puzzle, and it is hoped the lovable Labrador will live up to her name by solving some Suffolk mysteries.

Martlesham police investigation centre

Four men arrested following the armed robbery of a Felixstowe bookmaker’s shop will not be prosecuted, police have said.

A familiar sight this year. Roadworks at the junction of Handford Road and Portman Road in Ipswich.

Temporary traffic lights were back at the junction of Portman Road and Handford Road again today . . . for the 17th time since November last year.

Police cordon off Rose Lane after the incident

A man and a woman are due to appear in court after being accused of grievous bodily harm on a young man in Ipswich town centre.

All services through Colchester are affected

All train services travelling through Colchester are facing severe disruption after the fire alarm was activated in a signal box.

Carolyn winning the Suffolk New College make-up competition in 2002.

From Hadleigh to Hollywood, Carolyn Roper has brushed shoulders with acclaimed actors, sporting legends and pop superstars.

Ipswich Hospital on Heath Road, Ipswich.

Ipswich’s hospital had its busy day of the year yesterday for admissions.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages

Local business directory

Suffolk's trusted business finder

Property search

e.g. Oxford or NW3
Powered by Zoopla

Digital Edition

Read the Ipswich Star e-edition today E-edition

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24