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Refurbished Library and New Visions Children's Centre Now Open

Refurbished Library and New Visions Children's Centre Now Open

Date Published: 03 October 2017
Cllr Mathias opening the Visions Children's Centre

Families and school children have enjoyed a day of fun-filled activities to celebrate the opening of the new Visions Children’s Centre building, following the service’s relocation next to Oakham Library.

The Children’s Centre, now housed in a new, purpose-built extension alongside the library, welcomed its first ever visitors as part of a day of special events on Monday 2nd October, just a month on from the reopening of the library.

The occasion was marked by a special opening ceremony, with visitors and service users invited to take a look around the newly refurbished library building and brand new children’s centre extension.

Author, Ellie Sandall reading to young children

Local author and illustrator Ellie Sandall also joined in the celebrations and treated children to readings from a selection of her most popular books, as well as interactive sessions to help them find inspiration and encourage them to write their own stories.

“This has been a great way to mark the completion of the library and children’s centre project. Improvements to Oakham library were long overdue and anyone who visited the library before the refurbishment took place can see what a massive difference it’s made. Now the Children’s Centre is finally open I think the natural fit between Visions and the library is clear for all to see. The joined up support that these two services can provide now they are located together will make a massive difference to children and families and means that both of these vital services can be delivered effectively for the next 25 years.”Councillor Tony Mathias, Leader of Rutland County Council 

Plans to relocate Visions Children’s Centre from Catmose College and combine the move with the extensive refurbishment of Oakham Library were first approved in September 2016.

New Visions Children's Centre

As a result of the move, programmes of support and activities for families can now be delivered in partnership between Visions and the library in a single place. Users will also benefit from having both groups of expert staff on hand to provide family, literacy, education and employment support.

 “This is a big improvement for Rutland’s library and children’s services. Going forward, this new setup will provide opportunities to develop an ‘all-round care’ approach for families, with staff from both the library and children’s centre on hand to provide support around early help, health, additional needs and getting parents back into education or employment. The move will also help introduce children to libraries at an early age, encouraging literacy and making sure Oakham library benefits from a regular flow of family visits for many years to come.”Councillor Richard Foster, Portfolio Holder for Children and Young People 

The new Visions building is larger and easier to access, providing a lighter, friendlier and more spacious environment for families who use the service. There is also an enclosed outdoor area, allowing children to learn and play outside.

Following its refurbishment, the library is also a much more open and inviting space. The entrance partition has been removed and self-service unit moved closer to the main doors to improve access and usability. The old front counter and enquiry desks have also been removed to increase the amount of pubic space available.

Refurbished Oakham Library

Staff have worked hard to redesign the layout inside the library to improve the browsing experience for visitors and regular users. Visitors can take advantage of a new ICT suite with room to use their own laptops and devices. Finally, work has been done to improve the environment for users with autism and staff have looked at ways to reduce over-stimulating features, like excess signage.

Oakham Library is open from 9.30am to 5.00pm, Monday to Friday and 9.30am to 4.00pm on Saturdays. For more information, please visit the Rutland libraries website.

Visions Children’s Centre is open from 8.30am to 5.00pm, Monday to Thursday and 8.30am to 4.30pm on Fridays. For information, including a full programme of sessions and activities, please visit the Visions Children's Centre website

 

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