This page serves to document all our archived news articles for 2001. Please note all content and images are ©Five Children and Families Trust.

In Dec 2001, families from the Play & Stay and from parent and toddler groups at Stockton Wood and Middlefield Nurseries enjoyed a Christmas day out at Gulliver's World funded by Sure Start Speke.

Everyone wrapped up warm against the cold and dared the exciting rides in the park, before watching an entertaining pantomime over lunch, mince pies and a much-needed cup of tea!

Then it was on to the miniature train to Santa's Grotto. The children loved walking through the magical grotto complete with moving characters, and had the added bonus of receiving a lovely present from the man in the red suit.

Everyone agreed that we had a wonderful trip and it put us all in the mood for Christmas. We travelled back to Speke with some very tired but happychildren.

Sure Start Speke will be planning more trips and events in the future. If your family would like to be involved then come along to one of our Play and Stay Sessions.

The Sure Start Christmas Grotto held at the JET centre on 15th December was another great success with over 200 tickets distributed before the day and more families visiting whilst out shopping.

Whilst parents and grandparents enjoyed mulled wine and mince pies, Sure Start staff dressed up as characters from "The Wizard of Oz", and a fun day was had by all.

As it was the festive season of good cheer, Sure Start also donated £100 to each of the nurseries in the area to put towards their own Christmas celebrations.

Prizes for the fancy dress competition which had been held at our Family festival in October were presented to 3 of the 4 winners.

On the 3rd of December we held a Dads Evening at the David Lloyd Leisure Centre with the intention of asking the local dads what Sure Start could do to make their role as a dad more fulfilling. There was a very good response to the leaflet and seven dads rang to book a place for the event.

The weather for the night was cold, wet and windy and one brave dad faced the elements and arrived at the centre. Despite being outnumbered by Sure Start staff he gave us an honest opinion of what was lacking in the area and some good suggestions as to how Sure Start could progress with a dads project. The one lucky dad was given all 12 complimentary day passes to the David Lloyd as a thank you for attending on such a wintry night. So if you see a super fit man jogging around Speke over Christmas you'll know where he was on 3rd December.

If any dads have any firm ideas about how Sure Start can make a difference in the area we would be glad to hear from you. We hope to arrange another event in the New Year for dads and will try to book better weather along with a venue for the next one.

Jelly and ice cream were top of the menu as Liverpool's nurseries celebrated making the grade. After months of hard work - and more that £70,000 - every single social services nursery is now proudly displaying its registration certificate. Just a few months ago only one of the city council's nurseries met the legal requirements.

Youngsters at Ganworth Road nursery in Speke had an extra reason to celebrate. The City Council, charitable trust SMART and Sure Start Speke got together to spend £20,000 on refurbishing the nursery - and now SMART have moved their brand new nursery in to the same building.

City Council executive member Ron Gould said he was delighted. "These nurseries had never been registered and it's a fantastic day for the city when we can finally say that our provision is just as good as everyone else's. The city council is no longer the poor neighbour of the private and voluntary sector in nurseries. It's an achievement of which I'm very proud".

Chief Executive Frank Duckers said "We would never have moved into a nursery which didn't meet the standards, but after we and the city council got together to refurbish it we have a great facility".

Sure Start Speke recently celebrated its first birthday with a fabulous fun-filled day that started with a Fancy Dress parade for all our babies and toddlers.

150 Speke families took part on the day. Brouhaha International kept us entertained and adults and children alike enjoyed the arts and crafts workshops and face painting activities.


Congratulations to Mandy Murphy who has become Childminder Development Worker for Sure Start Speke.

Regular visitors to Sure Start will recognise Mandy from her days in Speke Market, where, along with other colleagues, she distributed the Sure Start goodie bags to mums and toddlers.


Tuesday 8th May 2001 was International Nurses Day and was intended to promote nursing as a career, as well as to liase with other nursing agencies to examine ongoing changes in the Health Service.

The day was attended by Health Visitors, Speke District nurses, nursing tutors and Cardio nurses, and New Heys pupils who were supplied with information regarding possible careers in Nursing.


The SMART charitable trust - a group which provides business advice and childcare services in Speke and Garston - has opened a new playgroup in All Saints Church Hall on Church Road, Speke. It will be run by qualified and experienced staff on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 9.30-11.30 am. The cost is just £2 per session.

All children aged 2-5 are welcome (must be toilet-trained), and further information is available from Cathy on 0151-486 8605.

A young Speke schoolgirl has won a design competition and a new Apple Macintosh computer for her school. Chloe Youd, from Middlefield CP School in Speke, designed a logo for Sure Start Speke.

It won and Chloe's school received a new Apple Mac computer. Chloe's design will be featured on Sure Start letterheads and posters.

Chloe is pictured with Sure Start representatives Susan Roberts, left, and Kelly Dowd.