Children and Family
The current facilities for children and families support a range of activities. These include Zion Christian Centre children’s clubs, community parent / carer and toddler groups, parenting courses and support (partly run through the organisation ‘Care for the Family’), educational visits from local schools, private hire for parties and events and provision for children with special needs.
In reviewing future service development and provision, there is a particular desire and commitment to provide more appropriate facilities for children with special needs and provide a more flexible room and facility combination to support more age-focused activities simultaneously.
Plans for children and families at The Third Place have been developed jointly following consultation with families, volunteers, staff and a range of third sector and public sector organisations.
The Third Place – for children and their families
Within The Third Place development there will be a suite of facilities for children and families, supporting a wide range of activities, classes and events for children and babies aged 0-11 and their families.
Being situated at the heart of Halesowen Town centre, with its extensive public transport systems makes The Third Place family and children’s unit accessible to hundreds of Dudley Borough children and their families and carers.
Providers of services in the current facilities have identified the following key reasons for development in consultation with service users, parents and children including gaining detailed input on provision for special needs children, a number of whom are current service users:
- Lack of appropriate access and containment hinders the support we can give to children with Special Needs.
- Kitchen facilities are very basic
- Low roof with concealed asbestos limits certain activities
- Inadequate toilet facilities
- Toddler area: lack of space, poor temperature control, poor storage
The Community Base development will deliver the following for children and families from a diverse range of backgrounds in the Halesowen area:
- A variety of activities meeting ‘Every Child Matters’ strategic objectives
- A multi sensory room for special needs
- A soft play area
- A parent (or carer) and toddlers area
The remodelling of the current facilities will also provide additional group rooms, enabling delivery of more simultaneous age focused activities for groups of children with diverse age ranges and needs.
The multi sensory room will help expand the range and number of children with special needs that can be cared for by a wide range of Third Place users.
A remodelled reception area will help service the children and family, youth and community facilities. This will enable secure access, 7 days a week to the expanded amenities by a wider and more diverse range of organisations and individuals.