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This Surestart Childrens Centre had been operational for several years in a new, purpose designed building. We helped them to explore ways to move forward in a number of areas:


   Integrating parents and the broader commmunity more into the life of the Centre

   Improving flexible, multi-disciplinary and team working amongst the staff at the Centre

   Reconsidering and reconfiguring the use of the building to support these approaches


Using the layout and current use of the building as a catalyst for discussion, we facilitated a variety of workshops, relationship mapping, surveys and other activities involving staff, parents and other users of the Centre.


Involving the staff at all stages, we developed proposals for the organisation, management and use of the Centre which could address some of the key issues, including:


   Opening up the Centre to become more invitational and inclusive for parents and others.

   Creating a ‘beating heart’ at the core of the Centre supporting informal connections between different staff, users and activities in the Centre.

   Linking the activities across both floors of the Centre where separation had produced an ‘us’ and ‘them’ split between staff and parents.

   Challenging the ‘silos’ of different professions within the Centre through reconfiguring and reorganising workspace and team organisation, and increasing opportunities for informal meeting and connection.


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