"Immediately put at ease"

About: Mansfield Woodhouse Children's Centre

(as a parent/guardian),

I recently moved to Mansfield Woodhouse with my fiancé and my daughter who is now nine months old.

I first visited Mansfield Woodhouse Childrens centre when I went to get my daughter weighed there. That is how I found out about the baby groups available to me and my daughter. We have no family or friends here so I was very pleased to hear about the groups.

I felt nervous for the first group, which was held on a Monday morning, but as soon as I arrived I was met by two lovely staff members who immediately put me at ease! Introduced me to other mums and also took the time to get to know me and Hetty. They offered me lots of advice about different groups available to us and some information about the local area. The way that the playroom is laid out is so very thoughtful, there is a quiet sensory area for babies and activities for the older children are in a different area of the room which I think is great because there are no worries about toddlers running around little babies.

We then attended the Thursday bouncing babies playgroup. They have different activities each week, one of the activities was going a walk around the area. That proved to be of great value to me because I didn't have a clue where the shops, parks, banks etc were and I walked along side other mums and actually made some friends.

The reason I love attending these groups is because I've been made to feel really welcome, and they give my week structure, allowing me to get out of the house more and my daughter has benefited greatly. She is no longer shy and timid, she interacts with other children, she is learning to share now.

Recently my daughter learned to stand up while holding on to things, one of the staff noticed this and brought a table over for her to stand up with, little things like this show me that they are paying attention and actually care.

We recently attended the library singing time held on a Tuesday afternoon in mansfield Woodhouse, I can't tell you how nervous I was because I can't sing and didn't want to feel silly! But I am really glad I went, and we go every week now! The staff didn't single me out, they made me feel welcome and at ease and my daughter absolutely loves it! From this group she has learned to clap... Bounce up and down and even sing "eeee eye eeee eye ooowww" (old McDonald had a farm). She is also learning 1, 2, 3 from this group. This group amazed me!

I've visited many different children centres in different areas and even volunteered at a few as part of my degree, but I have to say that Mansfield Woodhouse children centre honestly is the best centre I have been to. The groups and activities are so well thought out, there is something for everyone and I feel that the staff do a fantastic job. They smile every session from start to finish, they are approachable, none judgmental and unlike other centres I've never heard them once moan about a single thing. They are genuine and it is clear that they are passionate about their work.

I would also like to say thank you to the manager Carol Pearce, who took the time out of her busy day to introduce herself to me and have a five minute chat with me about the centre and the activities.

What a lovely approachable lady, it is little things like this that will make me highly recommend this centre to everyone.

I don't unusually give feedback but I feel that I had to tell this story because this centre has given me and my daughter so much to look forward to in a week, it really has.

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Responses

Response from Debbie O'Brien, Children's Centre Co-ordinator, Sure Start Children's Centres, County Health Partnerships

It's really lovely to hear your story and experience at Woodhouse Children's Centre. Its clear that the centre and workers have made an impact on you and your little girl, which is great news, those little details really making the difference.

Its also really positive that you have attended the groups and other events even when at times you have been nervous, as it seems that you have gained so much from these.

I hope that you continue to attend as it has been such a positive expereince for your family, and that the good practise at this centre is shared.

thank you for sharing this.

Kind regards

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