Eager workers get off to a great start

15th April 2005 at 01:00
Sure Start Battersea offers a creche and parents' support as well as speech therapy and outreach to the local Somali community. It also boasts another bonus - staff bursting with enthusiasm for the success of a key government policy.

Whatever the national data, workers here and in similar programmes across the country are sure their efforts are paying off.

Parents who come in to play sessions with their toddlers support one another, make new friends and build their confidence, staff say. Several have gone on to train as group leaders. One, Lucy Bartley, now works as the programme's young parents' support worker.

"I can think of one young woman who came to the group when she was pregnant at 14," she says. "She'd been homeless in the past. Now she's 17, she's been housed with her partner, she's volunteering at Sure Start and she's got a part-time job as well as doing a fantastic job with her daughter. Her confidence has grown and grown. Once her daughter is at school she'll be looking for full-time work and we'll be able to give her a brilliant reference. That's just one example out of many."

But she admits the programme targets are challenging: "I sometimes look at my targets and think, 'Oh my goodness!' But I know that what's happening on the ground is really, really good."

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar, Buyagift.com, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today