LifeLine’s flagship Children’s Centre showcased to Sharon Hodgson MP

On 17th May 2012, Sharon Hodgson MP Shadow Minister for Children and Families, visited Castle Green Children’s Centre in Dagenham. 

The centre is one of five run by LifeLine across the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham. The visit was brokered by FaithAction – a national network of Faith-based and Community organisations of whom LifeLine is a member – to demonstrate good practice by a community organisation that runs a Children’s Centre and works with the whole of the community.

Since 2006, LifeLine have sought to run the centre to spark whole community change and equip people for life and work through the type of services and support of the staff.  As well as showing Sharon Hodgson MP around the centre, there was also an opportunity to hear from some of those who have benefitted from the Centre.

One parent said the opportunity to get involved in her local community through the centre had ‘transformed her life’ after detailing her journey since her original parenting course to now studying for a degree at the Open University sessions run in the centre.  Another parent, who uses the conversation class, said ‘I am very happy because I come here with my grandson and my grandson plays with other children and I talk.  I am happy because it’s free and near the home’.

Sharon Hodgson MP said: “The work going on by LifeLine at Castle Green is really inspiring, and it’s obviously having a transformational impact on those parents and families who come along and get involved, as well as on the wider community.

“It is a great example of what Children’s Centres should be about – providing a place for children to develop, and empowering people to improve their lives and the lives of their family and even their neighbours, and I thank FaithAction for arranging such a great visit.” 

The Shadow Minister also commented on the friendly staff, the range of services available and the innovative programmes that the centre runs to incorporate the whole community.