The Hindley Children’s Centre was opened in 2004 providing help and support for children, parents and carers in the Hindley area of Wigan. This area is one of the most deprived in England (ranked 2322 out of 32,482 according to the Office of National Statistics) and the Centre provides a valuable resource for the local community. Much of the grounds around the Centre had been turned into play areas and gardens when the Centre was built, but the area next to the nursery was a very steep slope, rendering it very difficult to use, so it had been left turfed.

The Building User Group were successful in raising funds from the BIG Lottery via Community Spaces to create a new facility out of this steep unusable space and were keen to see an area that catered for all users, not just the children; somewhere to encourage families to interact and learn together. Child Literacy is an integral part of the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum and this space provides additional opportunities to introduce books and reading to children in an interesting and stimulating environment.  The circular seat and Storytellers chair provides the perfect setting for stories and learning.

The garden also includes sensory planting at different levels to create different moods and emotions as well as artwork by Green Monster Arts. The artist worked with children at the Centre and at neighbouring schools to get ideas for the cast seats and thermoplastics. She also held mosaic workshops for Centre users to create a day and night themed focal point for the two areas of the garden.

The site was made accessible through new timber steps with a handrail as well as a new entrance into the site from the main road, to encourage and welcome local families.

The result is a well used community facility that is colourful all year round. It has made a difference to the way that children learn at the Centre as well as providing additional inspirational educational opportunities.

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