On 1 April 2019, we took over the management of two local Sure Start children’s centres, Queen’s Park (pictured) and Townsend, on behalf of Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council. The centres were previously managed by national charity Barnardo’s whose contract drew to a close this year.
We have successfully managed a third Bournemouth Sure Start centre, Pokesdown and Southbourne Children’s Centre, for the last 12 years and we also run both Teddy’s Pre-School in Pokesdown and a Dorset-wide Child Contact Centre for families experiencing family breakdown. Our local expertise and an established reputation for providing effective children’s services was central to its appointment.
Our Head of Family & Relationship Services, Jackie Huggett, said:
“We were delighted to be selected to manage the Queen’s Park and Townsend Children’s Centres and would like to take this opportunity to thank Barnardo’s, existing staff and local families for their past support of these vital community services.
“The core purpose’ of Children’s Centres is to work in partnership in order to improve outcomes for young children and their families. The focus on providing support and guidance enables families to lead fulfilling lives. This has been key to our success at Pokesdown & Southbourne Children’s Centre and we look forward to applying the same approach to the others.”
We are committed to making the transition as seamless as possible and very few staff changes are expected, with the existing team already having transferred to YMCA Bournemouth and taken part in a full induction programme.
Dorothy, who has worked at Queen’s Park Children’s Centre for just over 7 years, said: “Change is always a bit unnerving, but YMCA Bournemouth have been genuinely warm and welcoming. It is great to be working for an organisation with such a good reputation and positive attitude, who are keen to develop and improve the services we provide.”
Initial timetables are now in place but the charity plans to expand and energise the range of sessions available at both centres over the coming months. Local families will be able to keep up-to-date by visiting the centre Facebook pages at @QueensParkChildrensCentre and @TownsendChildren’sCentre.
If families have any questions about the new services they should email YMCA Bournemouth’s Head of Family & Relationship Services, Jackie Huggett, at Jackie.Huggett@ymcabournemouth.org.uk