Sure Start gets international visit

AN IPSWICH Sure Start centre was chosen for a visit by influential delegates from around the world, after being highlighted for its work by the Department of Health.

AN IPSWICH Sure Start centre was chosen for a visit by influential delegates from around the world, after being highlighted for its work by the Department of Health.

South East Ipswich Sure Start Children's Centre, which aims to give pre-school youngsters the best start in life, was chosen for the visit from senior civil servants and oil industry businessmen from Africa and Asia.

The visitors from Libya, Malawi, Nigeria, Uganda, India and Pakistan met parents, staff and children at the Clapgate Lane children's centre.

Centre manager Sandra Shears said: "They were looking for projects that delivered a good outcome for young children and families - the Department of Health recommended Sure Start and our programme in Ipswich.

"It's great that we were chosen. It's a tribute to the area and is also good for Ipswich."

Delegate Sanjeev Kumar, director of drinking water supply and sanitation for the Indian state of Maharashtra, focusing on its rural areas, said: "The aim (of Sure Start) is very good. It's better to spend money today on kids below four and make them capable of adding to society.

Most Read

"We don't have a single parent problem in India, but we do have underprivileged children and parents not having enough resources to support children in the way we would want - it's a question of poverty."

The delegation is being guided by the UK's leading international training organisation, RIPA international, in association with the British Council.

Yusuf Yearwood, the company's programme director, said: "We have chosen to visit the centre because it's an excellent example of how a plan launched at government level has been put into effect by local people on the ground.

"We want to show the delegates how successful schemes like this can be, so they can possibly start similar ventures in their homelands."

The visit was the first in the delegates' month-long stay in Britain.

They are also hoping to visit Shakespeare's Globe Theatre in London and a petroleum gas company or environmental agency to look at how the petroleum industry relates to the environment.

What do you think of Sure Start in South East Ipswich being highlighted? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter