Plea for parents to help Treetops in Haworth

Councillor Rebecca Poulsen (right) is joined by mothers Claire Butterfield (left) with her son Heath, and Lisa Balderstone, with her daughter, Isabelle, at the Treetops Children’s Centre in Haworth

Councillor Rebecca Poulsen (right) is joined by mothers Claire Butterfield (left) with her son Heath, and Lisa Balderstone, with her daughter, Isabelle, at the Treetops Children’s Centre in Haworth

First published in News by

Parents who campaigned to save Haworth’s Treetops Children’s Centre are being urged to join its user group.

A strong parents’ forum is seen as vital in helping secure the long-term future of the threatened centre.

Yet only two people whose children attend Treetops in Rawdon Road turned up for the most recent forum meeting.

Centre staff regularly attend the forum, so they can learn at first-hand the needs, suggestions and complaints of families.

A forum member also sits on the centre’s advisory board – along with councillors and professionals – which can make official recommendations for change.

Bradford Council last year announced children’s centres would close as part of budget cuts, but gave them a 12-month reprieve at the eleventh hour thanks to a £3 million one-off handout from the Schools Trust.

The district’s centres, including Treetops in Haworth and Daisy Chain in Silsden, must now explore ways to cut costs, organise their services and involve local schools in running them if they are to remain open beyond the next 12 months.

The call for more forum members was issued this week by district councillor Rebecca Poulsen and parent Claire Butterfield, who are both advisory board members.

Claire, whose sons Harry and Heath have both used Treetops, has been a forum member since the centre opened three years ago.

She said: “I’ve been coming since because I’m so passionate about it.

“The forum listens to anything parents have to say, positive or negative. If it can be met within the budget, staff will make it happen.

“Parents can say how they think the centre should be run, what sessions should be held, what equipment they want or visitors they want to see.”

Coun Poulsen, who represents Worth Valley ward on Bradford Council, said: “There was such a fantastic response to the campaign when Treetops was under threat.

“We now need those parents to continue to support the centre. The sad thing is only two parents turned up to the last forum meeting.”

Anyone wishing to attend should leave their name with staff at Treetops.

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