Home-Start’s drop in service for children under five on Wednesdays at the Britannia Road Children’s Centre has been restored thanks to a funding grant from Labour County Councillor for Banbury Grimsbury & Castle, Hannah Banfield.
Home-Start Banbury & Chipping Norton, which also offers home visits for families, saw drop-in services at Britannia Road Children’s Centre cut by Oxford County Council in 2017.
Thanks to funds from the Friends of Britannia Road group, the organisation have been able to restore a session on Thursdays, and now a £8,400 grant from Cllr Hannah Banfield’s Oxford County Council Ward Priority Fund means the sessions are restored to two days a week.
Cllr Banfield said “This desperately needed drop-in service was cut by OCC back in 2017 because of funding cuts from central government, unfortunately before I was elected into this role.
“It was rightly one of the most contentious decisions made by the OCC ruling Conservative administration at that time
“Each county councillor has a £15,000 ward priority fund I am delighted to use part of my fund to ensure drop in sessions are restored at the Britannia centre for local families”
Jane Skelton, Senior Organiser at Home-Start Banbury & Chipping Norton, “This grant means far more families can access a safe environment to encourage play with their young children, we offer messy activities, outdoor activities, general play activities, they partake in a snack mid morning and do songs and rhymes.
“For local families this grant means they can once again access two drop in services”
Paul, who was attending the Wednesday session with his two daughters, said, “I come every week with my daughters, we get a lot out of it, it breaks up the day and we get to meet new people, they get to play with other children and I get to speak to the people who work here and the other parents too – we all enjoy it.”