Helping to overcome the language barriers

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A CHILDREN’S Centre in one of the most deprived areas of Calderdale is providing a good level of support for young people and their families, according to Ofsted inspectors.

“Services and activities promote equality and inclusion extremely well and provision is well matched to the needs of this multicultural community.”

The Jubilee Centre, at Lightowler Road, Halifax, also operates satellite centres at Beech Hill, Hanson Lane Enterprise Centre and the Halifax Opportunities Trust Creche.

The Courier reported recently how, in a separate inspection, the Jubilee nursery was also deemed by Ofsted to be of a good standard and exceptionally well organised.

The Children’s Centre is based in an area where 35 per cent of children under five live in households dependant on jobless benefits.

It is one of the most deprived areas in the country with high unemployment, low educational attainment and low levels of adult literacy.

That is due in part to language barriers faced by people with Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Polish and Chinese backgrounds and increasing numbers of Czech, Slovak and Roma communities.

Inspectors said: “The respect and care for others is strong and parents and carers from a wide range of cultures and backgrounds all said that they feel welcome.”

They praised the opportunities that the centre offers users such as the English language classes and the crèche facilities.

“Some parents and carers have completed childcare qualifications and degrees in order to become crèche and family support workers and a midwife. ”

Michelle Attmere, central Halifax extended services manager, said she was pleased the centre had gained official recognition that the work it does really makes a difference to the lives of families there.

Barbara Harbinson, chief executive of the opportunities trust said: “The Ofsted report is a credit to the ongoing dedication of staff who work at Jubilee and the excellent relationships they build with families living in this area.”