logo Burngreave Messenger Issue 28 February 2003





New start for Sure Start

Burngreave and Fir Vale Sure Start, the local programme to improve chances for under 4s, hopes for a fresh start with a new Programme Manager and an apology to local parents (see right).

This follows a difficult period with no Programme Manager and Government criticism that the local programme was not meeting national objectives. This led to a review of all spending and a Sure Start Board meeting in December was told of reductions in cash given to local organisations like Black Women’s Resource Centre, Ellesmere Children’s Centre, Yemeni Women’s group and others.


Chairing the board meeting, Julie Ward, from the new ‘lead agency’, NCH, explained that ‘Service Level Agreements’ (SLAs) with local providers were not focussed enough to meet targets for improving the chances of youngsters from hard to reach families and communities. New SLAs aim to better meet the national targets.

Anger from local groups at a stakeholder meeting in December led to the unprecedented apology printed here, though some have said it was the Council who were responsible for the way groups heard about changes.

The Sure Start programme is also being restructured to include a family support team, early years team and health team including parental involvement workers.

Decision-making role for parents

Now, a decision at the last Board meeting will mean equal representation from parents, the community/voluntary sector and statutory agencies and a new parents forum set up.


Sure Start Burngreave and Fir Vale, N.C.H.

Dear All,

Burngreave and Firvale Sure Start will be re-launching at the end of March.

The Programme has had difficulties in the past year to deliver services and work towards targets, due to a number of reasons.

We are pleased to say things are now starting to get back on track. We have a new programme manager, a new partnership board. We are setting up a number of focus groups on, stakeholders, parents and service areas.

We apologise to parents, members of the voluntary and community groups, if any of the reshaping of the programme has impacted on you or your service. We intend to meet parents and workers to get you back on board with us.

We will be having a relaunch day on the 31st March at the Verdon Street Recreation Centre, we welcome you to attend. We will be forwarding booking forms in due course.

We will look forward to seeing you at the re-launch.

Yours truly,

Julie Ward
Chair of the Partnership Board

Amanda Boughton-Brown
Programme Manager

For and on behalf of the Burngreave and Firvale Partnership Board