max temp: 12°C

min temp: 7°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

Theatre Square artists impression

Construction work to tidy up the former Civic Centre site in the heart of Ipswich – and to create a new public square in front of the New Wolsey Theatre.

Robin Byford who is considering High Court action against Suffolk Coastal District Council and the planning inspectorate over planning permission to turn his garage into a house.

A Kesgrave father is considering taking the district council and planning inspectorate to the High Court after a three year planning rollercoaster to convert a garage to a starter home for his daughter.

The former Croydon's store in Ipswich - set to become a Jack Wills store.

One of the best-known new clothing chains in Britain is set to take over the former Croydon’s store in Ipswich’s Tavern Street.

The Kent Lodge Nursing Home.

Kent Lodge was rated inadequate by the CQC this year – one of five homes in the county to be given the rating this year

Dimitri Gayle had his bike stolen days after he got it for his Birthday. Halfords replaced the bike free of charge. Dimitri is pictured with his new bike in Ipswich.

“There are so many bad things going on in the world, it’s nice to know there are nice things that happen too.”

Users have been sharing autumnal photos of Suffolk on Instagram

With more than 300 million active users and 70 million photos posted each day, Instagram is one of the fastest-growing forms of social media.

The Reverend Anthony Howe, the new chaplain at Hampton Court Palace’s Chapel Royal.

A former Suffolk resident and pupil at Ipswich School has been appointed chaplain and priest in charge at The Chapel Royal at Hampton Court Palace.

The cycle safety awareness event on Barrack Corner in Norwich Road has been cancelled.

Police have issued a new date for a bike safety event abruptly cancelled yesterday after officers failed to turn up.

Proposed housing site in Poplar Lane, Sproughton, behind the Holiday Inn.

Two Suffolk councils are set to lock horns over the proposed construct of 475 homes on the edge of Ipswich.

Police are at the scene

A three vehicle crash has blocked one lane of the A14 eastbound at Copdock.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages