Duncan opens new Sure Start Centre

Duncan joined Heather Colbeck, Director of Barnardo’s South West, Barnardo’s staff and lots of local families to cut the ribbon on a new project which will transform the lives of hundreds of Melksham residents.

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The Canberra Sure Start Children’s Centre offers a wide range of free support and advice to parents and carers of under-5s.

Managed by children’s charity Barnardo’s on behalf of Wiltshire Council, it is based in Spa Road near the centre of town and is available to people of all backgrounds.

Canberra Sure Start Children’s Centre replaces the former Queensway Sure Start Children’s Centre a short distance away, which was too small to cope with demand. The new site has a modular building offering large meeting rooms, play areas, a kitchen and office, together with free parking and disabled access. A sensory room might be added at a later date. It also includes solar panels on the roof which provide underfloor heating and hot water.

The Barnardo’s team consists of children’s services manager Liz James, team leader Christine Tanner, family support worker Lizzie Moran, community playworker Alison Wiltshire and administrator Lynda Deven. Working with other local organisations, they will provide parenting programmes and health services as well as help with training and employment.

After opening the Centre, Duncan was taken on a tour of the project, while children enjoyed arts and craft activities, face-painting and other entertainment.

Duncan said:

“I am delighted to officially open this important new service which promises to make a positive difference to so many people.

“I hope that the people of Melksham will make the most of this new facility.”

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The centre is open to visitors Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm. Call 01225 700381 or email canberracc@barnardos.org.uk.