Wandsworth specialist centre for disabled children opens


The centre runs drop-in play sessions for parents and children as well as therapeutic services and speech and language therapy.


By Hayley Fox

A £700,000 specialist centre providing services for disabled children in Wandsworth has opened.

The Enhanced Children’s Centre, based at West Hill Primary School, is the borough’s only children’s centre to provide services for children under five with disabilities, learning difficulties and complex medical needs.

The centre runs drop-in play sessions for parents and children. Therapeutic services and speech and language therapy are also available.

Officially opened on 14th September, the converted school building is now fully equipped with an indoor and outdoor play areas, multi-sensory room and soft-play area.

Pippa Bruce, Manager of Enhanced Children’s Centre, said: “We’ve had a lot of interest and have 40-50 families registered with us, but we’re building all the time.

“We are working with families in the borough to provide services for what people really need.”

She added: “I hope we will be embedded in to the community. Hopefully we will be significant for disabled children and their families.”

It was set up by the council to provide all the relevant services under one roof, something local families were keen on when asked their views,

The centre is in the process of providing advice and guidance services for parents and carers about training, benefits and family learning. Support group, Contact a Family, currently run workshops at the centre.

Contact a Family work in partnership with the staff and help facilitate the Explore and Play sessions at the centre. They have run workshops on toilet training and plan to run others on behaviour and feeding. 

Rosie Noble, Manger of Contact a Family Wandsworth said the centre will raise the awareness of disability to the whole school and children’s centre community in West Hill and across the borough.

She added: “The new centre has excellent facilities for children with additional needs. It has friendly and welcoming staff and it is a fabulous environment for families.”

Cllr Kathy Tracey, Children’s Services Spokesman at Wandsworth Council, described the centre as a fantastic new resource.

She said: “This makes it much easier to deliver fully integrated, consistent and joined-up services for these children and their families.

“Our aim is to deliver the highest quality services. We can do this by making sure our work is focused on identifying and assessing their needs quickly and then making sure we offer effective support.”

The council’s Children’s Services Department was recently awarded a maximum four star rating by Ofsted for the quality of its services supporting vulnerable children and their families.

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