Central Bedfordshire Council news and press releases

Leighton Buzzard Children's Centre celebrates 15th birthday

Monday, 21 August 2023

Last Thursday (17 August), Leighton Buzzard Children's Centre celebrated its 15th birthday with a fun-day!

The event - which featured an array of engaging activities including sporting activities, play stations, a bouncy castle, face painting and crafts - underpinned the pivotal place that children’s centres hold in the lives of families, with around 500 people* attending throughout the day.

The Leighton Buzzard team

The children’s centre opened in 2008 on the site of what was then St George’s Lower School (now The Rushmere Park Academy and Nursery) on East Street in the town. In the past 15 years, staff have supported thousands of families and children across Leighton Buzzard running all sorts of sessions; from child development and play sessions for children, activities and advice for families of children with SEND, breastfeeding advice sessions, parenting courses and an annual second-hand school uniform event.

Some former members of staff came back for the fun day, including Chris Daniels, the first administrator at the centre, and Hazel Jeffrey, who was the first centre manager.

Hazel said:

When Chris and I started, we set up the children’s centre offer across Central Bedfordshire, and Leighton Buzzard was one of the first. At first, we’d have a couple of sessions a week, and it’s great to see how it’s grown. You can tell by the number of people here what a great success it’s been and continues to be - and that’s down to the staff.

Aimee from Leighton Buzzard, who attended with her family, said:

My eldest is 8 years old and we’ve been coming to the centre since he was small. It’s amazing - my little boy has additional needs and they’ve been such a help. It’s brilliant they can do things like this for all the kids to enjoy, and it’s great to see many people here.

And Lauren from Leighton Buzzard said:

My oldest daughter is 11 so I have been coming to the children’s centre since she was born. I now have 4 children and have continued to use the centre, as well as work with the staff on a one-to-one basis. I think what they do for our town and for everyone here is amazing.

The staff spent the months before the event fundraising to pay for it and ensured there were a variety of activities to suit all ages and abilities.

Councillor Hayley Whitaker, Executive Member for Families, Education and Children, said:

I was able to spend some time at the event and it was fantastic to see so many people from the community helping the centre celebrate its milestone. Our children’s centres are so important for local communities and the families they support, creating a positive space to bring our communities together.

As well as Leighton Buzzard, we have children’s centres in Sandy, Biggleswade, Shefford, Stotfold, Flitwick, Houghton Regis and Dunstable. Full details of all the children’s centres and the sessions they run are available on our Family Information Directory.