Campaign for Sure Start gets big cash boost

Lee nursery praised by inspectors

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A CAMPAIGN to protect Sure Start centres across Hampshire has been boosted with a £450 grant.

Save Our Children’s Centres (SOCC) is fighting to ring-fence the Sure Start budget following Hampshire’s decision to save £6m for other early years schemes by merging centres and managing them in clusters.

The grant from the Daycare Trust comes after a county council budget meeting, where an amendment to redirect money back towards Sure Start centres was voted out by the Tories.

Kate Reynolds, 33, SOCC co-founder, explained the money would help campaigners cover legal, web, phone and travel costs.

She said: ‘We’re so pleased. We were starting to struggle financially as a campaign group and this will be a huge boost to our work, which is all done by volunteers.’

SOCC have recently submitted a Freedom of Information request to find out the number of family support workers employed by Hampshire as campaigners claim numbers have dropped.

‘They are concerned there will be too few staff available to cope with local centre needs.