Most free sessions at Havering’s children’s centres to be stopped

PUBLISHED: 16:00 05 July 2012 | UPDATED: 16:12 05 July 2012

Cllr Paul Rochford

Cllr Paul Rochford


Most of the free activities available for parents at children’s centres in Havering are set stop this summer.

Several parents contacted the Recorder last week after being told by staff that their mother and baby groups would be closing within weeks.

Emma Wilkin, who goes to groups at the Elm Park and Upminster centres with her baby daughter, said: “It’s obviously the worst time for someone like me who goes to four groups a week.

“It was great to go to those groups and get advice from the trained staff.

“I kind of feel like going to the groups is my life at the moment, and it’s all going to stop.”

Kimberley Dimond has been attending the group in Diban Avenue, Elm Park, with her baby daughter once a week for the past nine months.

She said: “When we went to the group last Thursday the staff didn’t look happy.

“They just said that they would be closing at the end of July and that we’d all be getting letters next week.

“Where are the mums in the area supposed to go now? Me and some friends usually attend the Elm Park centre, but have used the ones in Airfield Way and South Hornchurch too.”

Cllr Paul Rochford, cabinet member for children and learning, explained the decision.

He said: “Like all local authorities we need to make significant savings over the next few years and it’s important that we target the resources that we have to really help the most vulnerable children and families in our society.

“This is not a decision we have taken lightly but it is the right and proper action to take.

“Parents can find out full information about which activities will be available from their local children’s centre.”

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