Today I attended a party at the Beaumont Estate Community Centre to say goodbye to North Leyton’s Sure Start and to learn more about plans for the new Children’s Centres due to take its place.
Over the past few years, North Leyton Sure Start, based in 803 High Road Leyton, has been an invaluable service for Leyton’s parents and the community as a whole.
One of the sessions run for local mums and dads has been Joanne Lewis’ “Friday Drop-in” at the Beaumont Estate Community Centre. For the past three years, local parents – mostly mums – have come together there, every Friday between 10am and 1pm to relax, chat and receive informative talks from health workers, financial advisors and beauticians.
I went along to speak to one of the Friday drop-ins in February, in my capacity as the Leyton ward Community Champion for Jobs. I wanted to seek the mums’ opinions on how Leyton’s service providers could improve local employment services to better meet their needs.
Graham Cobb and Joanne Lewis (pictured standing in centre) have been North Leyton Sure Start’s unsung heroes. I will be very sad to see them go.
I wish Graham the best of luck in his new job in neighbouring Barking and to Joanne, every happiness and success – you are a truly beautiful and talented person who deserves to go far.
For more information about the future of Sure Start and the new Children’s Centres replacing them please go to http://www.surestart.co.uk