Save Boxgrove Children's Centre From Closure

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Surrey County Council is planning to close Boxgrove Sure Start Children's Centre (including its outreach venues in Ripley and Horsley), as well as 30 others across the county.

Instead, families from Burpham, Merrow, Guildford and the villages in the east of the borough will be expected to use the Stoughton/Bellfields children's centre which is already busy serving one of the most deprived communities in the county.

Closing Boxgrove Sure Start is wrong and puts children's futures at risk.

Boxgrove is the central hub for so many families in the local area by providing free or heavily subsidised activities, health and parenting advice and support for parents/carers with children aged 0 to 5 years. The staff do amazing work and Boxgrove has strong links with the Citizens Advice Bureau, Job Centre Plus local Doctors' Surgeries and their Health Visitors which help them provide support on employment, housing and financial and legal issues amongst other things.

If the services Boxgrove provides are reduced or removed then it will have a hugely detrimental effect on the community. There are families that would become isolated, people's mental health and self esteem will be significantly impacted and this will have a knock on effect on children going on through nursery and school.

These proposals are irresponsible and will leave many without adequate support if they have to travel to Bellfields, especially given poor public transport links. And any savings the council makes will be outweighed by the increase cost to our schools and the NHS.

So many people have positively benefited from the children's centre being in our community and we need the support of all of those people to safeguard the future of the centre.

We call on Surrey County Council to realise how important Boxgrove children's centre is, to scrap the plans to close it and to safeguard it for future generations.

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