Concern at funding axe for Forest Children’s Centre in Duffryn, Newport
1:40pm Friday 1st March 2013 in News
PARENTS who use services at a Newport children’s centre protested yesterday, amid uncertainly over the future of its services after funding ended.
Newport council said that funding for the Forest Children’s Centre in Duffryn, previously provided by the Welsh Government Cymorth scheme, has ended.
It is currently exploring all options available to it to continue providing services and, with discussions ongoing with those involved, it is hoped alternatives can be found.
Parents yesterday gathered outside the centre to protest and had collected more than a hundred names for a petition yesterday.
Mum-of-two Melissa Leigh, 39, said: “The centre is amazing for the children.
They get to make friends and it’s socialising them. It’s good for the parents as well.”
The Forest Children’s Centre is part of the same complex as Duffryn Infant and Junior School.
Its services include a crèche, coffee mornings, job clubs, employment and education courses, a dads’ group, breastfeeding support group and summer community activities.
It is understood the school and early years provision are not affected.
Funding from the Cymorth grant has been replaced by Families First, which has different grant criteria.
Newport councillor Debbie Wilcox, cabinet member for leisure and culture, said: “I understand the anxieties and it is heartening to see how much the local community values this centre and the services it offers.”