We’d be ‘lost’ without Sure Start

Parents Chris and Danielle Page, of Quale Close, Haydock, and their daugter Jessica (8 months) who refuses to eat

Parents Chris and Danielle Page, of Quale Close, Haydock, and their daugter Jessica (8 months) who refuses to eat

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THE mother of a tot struck down with a mystery condition which caused her to gag every time her parents tried to feed her has rallied behind her local Sure Start centre.

Danielle Page, 25, says she would have been “lost” without the Sure Start centre based at Legh Vale Primary School in Haydock, which has helped her get to the bottom of daughter Jessica’s condition.

Sure Start centres across the country are now under threat from cuts after the Government’s removal of the “ring-fence” which previously protected Sure Start cash.

Danielle said: “I’ve been taking Jessica to our local Sure Start since she was five weeks old and they’ve really helped me with her. If I hadn’t had their support then I don’t know what I would have done.

“All the parents are gutted that the funding cuts are affecting Sure Start centres. The people who are making these decisions clearly aren’t speaking to parents.”

Little Jessica always appeared a perfect picture of health - until her worried parents tried to put even the tiniest morsel of food in her mouth.

But the severe oesophageal reflux she suffered from has been getting better since Christmas, with the help of the family’s Sure Start link worker Alison Dixon.

Danielle, of Haydock, added: “Jessica is coming up to her first birthday now and is doing a lot better. But she wouldn’t be where she is now without the help of Sure Start. There’s even a club at the weekends - MATCH - to help dads to connect with their children which my husband, Chris, goes to when he can.

“It’s like a mini community in its own right and all the kids have a great bond with the staff.”