Canterbury & District Early Years Project – Poets Corner

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I remember the very first time I visited Poets corner. I rolled in with unwashed hair, screaming children hanging from me feeling very hot and flustered. I had absolutely no expectations due to the way we had been treated at other centres. I felt lower than low and thinking back then I remember spending weeks on end at home, not having the confidence to face the world.

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Between the age of 15-18 months I saw a change in my little boy which lead to – after much fighting a diagnosis of Autism, sensory processing disorder and global development delay. My head was spinning as you can imagine, our lives had been turned upside down. I was however thankful that finally someone out there would help me to support my little boy with his additional needs.

After lunch 1 Tuesday I plucked up the courage to take my children aged 2 and 1 (at the time) to Poets Corner to a Portage stay and & play group. I’m so glad I did, since that day we have been regulars every Tuesday for the last year.

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There’s a car park next to the centre which is really handy when managing 2 small children, especially 1 with additional needs with no danger awareness. The staffs are always helpful, approachable and supportive. The cleanliness of the centre is always great and everything seems very organised and in hand at all times.

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The main play room is full of a variety of toys for all ages and needs. My son especially loves the large black out tent and sensory board on the wall. The toys are always clean and are mostly tidied away in the same place which is handy for my sons autism. There’s a great mix of toys both educational and fun. A sand pit/ foam activity, dressing up stand, role play area, painting/ sticking, quiet time on the mat for reading and singing, soft play toys, a black out tent and the outdoors is great in the summer! I could literally go on and on, the centre truly has something for everyone.

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Unlike other centres we’ve visited it feels like the staff at Poets corner really gone above and beyond for my little family. We are always made to feel welcome and I know rain or shine, happy or crying I can walk in and someone will be there to support, help and listen to me.

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When popping in on a Tuesday afternoon with the kids I’m offered the chance to go and have a roam around their second-hand clothing and toys or the chance to have a cup of tea in peace and quiet. I 100% trust the staff with my children and the environment is safe and engaging.

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It hit me hard last Tuesday. I was speaking to a member of staff about viewing schools for my son for next September that we’d no longer be able to visit. I spoke to Jennie and have filled out an application form to help with the crèche bank. I am also hoping (once I have spoken to Jennie) that I can help with some fundraising ideas and advertising of the centre.

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Poets corner has a special little place in my heart. When I was feeling isolated, vulnerable and clueless they took us under their wing and have massively helped to support me especially to be the confident Mother I am today. I want to be part of this special, friendly and caring community and give back as much as I can.

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Click here to see their most recent timetable. Go along, have a nose and see for yourself. There is so much on offer you won’t be disappointed. Oh and ps the mums are allowed to get creative on the painting table too – thumbs up!

Thanks team Poet!

Clare

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