Save Bucks Children's Centres campaign nominated for national award

The Save Bucks Children's Centres campaign has been nominated in this year's National Diversity Awards to be held in September in Liverpool.

By Sam Dean
Monday, 2nd March 2020, 1:02 pm
Updated Monday, 2nd March 2020, 1:04 pm

The National Diversity Awards celebrate the excellent achievements of grass-root communities that tackle the issues in today’s society, giving them recognition for their dedication and hard work.

Charities, role models and community heroes are honoured at the ceremony, showcasing their outstanding devotion to enhancing equality, diversity and inclusion.

The awards are for people who inspire other individuals through their work, through their commitment to helping others, through their infectious personalities and through adversity.

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Save Bucks Children's Centres campaigner Alka Dass

The Save Bucks Children's Centres campaign, led by Alka Dass, has been nominated in the Community Organisation Award section.

Ms Dass began campaigning when Bucks County Council announced plans to close 19 of the 35 Children's Centres in the county as part of a £3.1m round of cost cutting to children's and youth services.

Her efforts took her all the way to the High Court in July 2019, but the case was lost.

Reacting to the nomination, Ms Dass said to The Bucks Herald: “As lead campaigner I am ecstatic and over the moon that the hard work of the campaign – support from residents, cross-party, campaigners and families has been recognised.

“It is fantastic that we have been nominated for the Community Organisation Award for the ITV National Diversity Awards.

“Children's Centres are fully inclusive and cater for the needs of families and children, and that's why we campaigned tirelessly from protests to petitions and legal challenges.

“Thank you to everyone for their support – please vote for us!”

The original 35 children's centres were specifically for 0-5 year olds and provided vital services for children and parents such as early intervention for post-natal depression and anxiety, teaching parents how to play with their child, weaning advice, lessons on how to eat solids, potty training, parents as first teachers, reading development, speech and language therapy, and breast feeding advice.

They have been replaced by 16 Family Support Service centres catering for 0-19 year olds (25 year olds in the case of special needs).

Nominations for the National Diversity Awards close of the 18 May. You can nominate Save Bucks Children's Centres hereThe 2020 award ceremony is on Friday 25 September at Liverpool's Anglican Cathedral.