YMCA Bournemouth took over the management of two local Sure Start children’s centres, Queen’s Park and Townsend, on behalf of BCP Council last month.
The centres were previously managed by national charity Barnardo’s, but their contract drew to a close this year as the local charity took over on 1 April.
YMCA Bournemouth’s umbrella organisation is currently celebrating its 175th anniversary, and has been successfully managing a third Sure Start centre, Pokesdown and Southbourne Children’s Centre, for the last 12 years.
They also run both Teddy’s Pre-School in Pokesdown and a Dorset-wide Child Contact Centre for families experiencing family breakdown.
Local expertise and an established reputation for providing effective children’s services were central reasons for its appointment.
Changes and improvements
Jackie Huggett, head of Family and Relationship Services at YMCA Bournemouth, said: “We are 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 and Southbourne Children’s Centre and we look forward to applying the same approach with the others.”
Very few staff changes are expected, and the existing team has already been transferred to YMCA Bournemouth to take part in a full induction programme as they try to make the transition as seamless as possible.
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 better the range of sessions available at both centres over the coming months.
If any local families have questions about the new services, you can email Jackie Huggett, YMCA Bournemouth’s Head of Family and Relationship Services, here.