Infant school creates ‘family hub’

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A former Surestart Centre that lost its funding within cuts to services, has relaunched as a family hub to be run by a school.

Brampton Cortonwood Infant School has taken over the old SureStart and renamed it the Cortonwood Family Hub.

The facility was opened officially by MP John Healey and will serve families with young children, within the local area.

It provides the support, services and activities previously offered by Cortonwood Sure Start Children’s Centre.

The change follows last year’s consultation on the future of children’s centres. Rotherham council said it must to reduce its Sure Start centres from 22 to nine because of government funding cuts by more than half, or £8.6m, since 2010.

Cortonwood and Wath Victoria were earmarked for closure but Mr Healey campaigned to keep them open, raising concerns with senior council members about leaving a large part of Rotherham without a Sure Start.

Strong support from parents and detailed work by the staff also helped demonstrate the need for the centres.

The council kept Wath Victoria open and the centre is working in partnership with Cortonwood.

Mr Healey said: “That Cortonwood is still here is a great credit to the school and centre staff and also parents and local residents who were part of the pressure to protect the service. Many families are still struggling and this support is still much needed in the village.”

Sue Reaney, finance manager, Cortonwood Family Hub, said: “It was brilliant that John set time aside to do our official opening and see for himself the huge support and commitment we have.”