Barnardo’s centre celebrates special landmark

Jackie McCormick, childrens centre improvement partner, Northumberland County Council; Leos mother Charlotte Byrne; and Barnardos Childrens Centre manager Dorothy Lewis.

Jackie McCormick, childrens centre improvement partner, Northumberland County Council; Leos mother Charlotte Byrne; and Barnardos Childrens Centre manager Dorothy Lewis.

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A children’s centre is celebrating reaching a major milestone.

Barnardo’s Blyth Valley Sure Start Children’s Centre has registered its 500th baby since starting baby registrations in May 2014.

Ten-week-old Leo Voyce was joined by his mother Charlotte Byrne for a celebration event with centre manager Dorothy Lewis and Jackie McCormick, children’s centre improvement partner at Northumberland County Council.

Dorothy said: “We were delighted to have Charlotte register Leo and for him to become our 500th baby.

“Barnardo’s has found working in partnership with the council to really help local families and it has been very rewarding. It is definitely a win-win service as it is convenient and quick, and we have had a good take up of our other services.”

Families are offered drop in session times for convenience, are better informed about children’s centre activities and have gone on to access other services.

Registering at the children’s centre has also led to an increased number of dads accessing centre with creating an opportunity to talk to dads about services.

Barnardo’s Assistant Director for Northumberland and North Tyneside, Julie McVeigh said: “In the first six weeks of a baby’s life, families need more support than ever.

“Registering babies’ births at their local children’s centres means parents can find out what’s on offer that can support them further.

“Our baby registration service is convenient and welcoming, and benefits families and the professionals who offer support to them. It’s popular with registrars and with parents.

“We would like to see it more widely available to help children and their families fulfil their potential.”