A bumper birthday party for closure threatened Children’s Centre

Bumper celebrations marked the tenth anniversary of the Preston East Children's Centre.
Bumper celebrations marked the tenth anniversary of the Preston East Children's Centre.
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A Preston children’s centre threatened with closure marked its 10th birthday with a special celebration event.

More than 200 people turned out to join in the fun as Preston East Children’s Centre marked its 10th anniversary on its present site.

For the last decade the service has been provided in the grounds of Brookfield School, on Watling Street Road in Ribbleton. But it began life some two years earlier in a back room of a terraced house on Deepdale Road.

Grandparents, parents and children joined in the celebration with entertainments ranging from craft and educational activities to donkey rides, a bouncy castle and slide.

Caroline Burnell, the Centre’s Business and Finance Manager, said: “It was amazing, absolutely fantastic. It was a special day out for people.”

She estimates more than 2,000 people have used the Centre over its lifetime. Funding for the bumper celebration came from the Preston East Parents’ Forum.

She added a big thank you was due to the Forum for its funding: “It was to celebrate with the parents that we’ve been here for 10 years and to say thank you.”

The Centre provides help and support for families with children aged nought to five and provides outreach services, parenting classes, one to one support and runs parent and child groups plus many more activities.

The county council run centre also serves the areas of Brookfield, Holme Slack and Deepdale and Ofsted judged it “outstanding” when it was inspected in 2011.

But it has been listed as a candidate for closure as part of a county council cost cutting review and restructuring of services. A final decision on its future will be made in the autumn. The council plans to create new Neighbourhood Centres across the county providing a variety of services.