Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 4°C

min temp: 2°C

Search

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's Centre on Felixstowe Road is due to close at the end of the month.

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

    alittlebitwoolly

    Thursday, March 13, 2014

Marks & Spencer is expanding its food store in Martlesham Heath - adding nearly two thirds more shopping space to the food hall.

This morning, in the wake of the most humiliating night in Ipswich Town’s history, we ask - is it time for boss Mick McCarthy to go?

A 150-year-old tree which has towered above a Suffolk railway line for decades will be no more by the end of this week

The number of visitors to the council-owned museums in Ipswich and Colchester fell significantly last year.

Council house rents across Ipswich are set to fall by 1% from April as part of a government scheme to reduce the cost of social housing.

More than 140 drink-drivers were caught in Suffolk during the police’s December crackdown, nearly double the number detained Norfolk, according to figures released today.

Prime Minister Theresa May congratulated Lincoln City after the team’s victory over the spluttering Tractor Boys in Tuesday night’s FA Cup tie.

It is a sight which never gets old for Andy Gillon, happy and fresh-faced owners turning up to rehome a beloved new pet.

This summer Elton John will make a return visit to Portman Road to perform his latest material and greatest hits but he is not the only music star to have previously graced the stage there.

Nine community projects in Felixstowe have been bolstered by grants worth more than £7,500.

Most read

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

MyDate24 MyPhotos24