They were reacting to proposals to reduce the number of centres in West Sussex from 43 to 11, with consultation due to end on May 17 before discussion at County Hall.
Here’s what some of the mums who have used the centre had to say:
“This family centre was a lifeline for my new baby and me. We got to meet amazing other mums and new babies with the added bonus of all the advice Ineeded not only about breast feeding but techniques for getting my little ones to sleep, teething issues, rashes, nappy rashes, spitting up, wind issues etc. We also would go there with our now two, three, four year old toddlers just to hang out and play with toys. We’d all get together for Christmas parties, picnics in the field. It was an immense amount of support and friendship we found at this place. Please don’t shut the family centre!”
“Used the Yapton centre for weigh-ins for my son and for him to play with others (having no siblings to play with), just the chance to get out the house with a young one was brilliant for me being new to the area. In Bognor one I had all the help for me to continue breastfeeding and the advice and support was so needed.”
“I used to bring my two children whenn they were little and the family centre was a total lifeline to meet other mums and be able to have a chat about our kids and talk freely about any difficulties I was experiencing as a mum with two small children. My kids loved playing with the toys, learning how to socialise with other children and joining in with the singing. Also the breastfeeding group ws so helpful when I was feeling at my lowest and vulnerable. I would fel so sad if the centre was to close as where would all the new parents meet other parents? Being a new parent can be so daunting but having the family centre felt such a welcoming place.”
“We were frequent visitors at the family centre, be it weigh-ins or baby groups. Such an amazing place to get out of the house and meet other parents and kids. Great place, always welcoming and an absolute necessity to the village!”
“It was good to meet other mums to chat about any problems, as well as the children being able to socialise. After a year of Covid restrictions, these centres are needed more than ever to support prents who are stressed and anxious and to help children develop the social skills they have missed out on.”
“In 2014 I walked into the children and family centre with a three year old and a newborn. I was desperate to breastfeed. I was met with a wonderful welcome and I enjoyued an amazing experience as a result. I then went on to have twins in 2015 and the suport I received from the family centre was priceless. They helped me with the toy library, breastfeeding advice, weighing clinic and the health visitor supported me to find a volunteer from home start to help me at home. I honestly don’t know how I would have coped without it.”
“I used to attend with my little girls and it was a massive support for me in my first steps in parenthood, as well as incredible and kind staff. Without their support I wouldn’t have been as successful jn breastfeeding my daughters not would I have had the parenting group with whom I am still friends today, six and a half years on. I also ran heartbeeps groupls and supported many parents through their journeys and without the centre it will be a travesty.”
“I regularly visited the children and family centre wehnn I had my boys and I always felt to welcome and was given so much help and support. When I was a first time mum everything felt so overwhelming but there was always someong to listen, give advice and reassurance too. I attended a few different groups as well and met some lovely people who I’m still friends with today. If the centre is closed it will be a devastating loss for the community without access to the crucial services they offer to families for our local area.”
“As a new mum I visited the family centre for weigh-in, baby classes and Milk group. Not only did I make new mummy friends, the support from everyone, including the health visitors, was amazing, especially in a relaxed, friendly, welcoming environment. It was so easy to be able to just ask a question, check if something was normal without having to make formal appointments.”
“I managed to go there for a short time with my second child before Covid struck and it was so nice to see familiar faces again. It would be so sad for it to be closed down and for new parents to not have their support”
Find out about the Save Yapton Family Centre group here.
Read Cheryl Carter’s story and why she wants to sve Yapton Family Centre here.
The latest story from the West Sussex County Council debate can be found here.