Sure start Sylvia retires

Contributed by editor on Mar 31, 2005 - 05:27 PM


Sylvia Scott, Director of Sure Start Folkestone, retires today (31 March) after achieving her main goal for the Sure Start project – the creation of a children’s centre in east Folkestone.

The official opening of The Village in Denmark Street in September last year was Sylvia’s ultimate achievement, creating a centre for young children and their families in an atmosphere where community involvement is paramount.

Sylvia was recruited to the Folkestone Sure Start project in November 2001. Being the only person working on the project at the time, she had one desk and a telephone in a corner of the regeneration team’s office at Shepway District Council.

Her first task was to recruit a team of people able deliver the Sure Start objectives, and to find premises for the team to work from. She then set about making sure the young families in the catchment area knew what Sure Start was all about.

In time, Sylvia moved her team of around 10 into the Shearway Business Park, where young parents benefited from a range of facilities from a toy library and crèche to parenting and therapy classes.

With the help of the Sure Start team, young parents and their children in the area learned skills and found ability that they never believed they possessed.

Sylvia’s finest hour though, was the day the team moved into The Village. By this time many local parents had themselves become part of the team.

Sylvia, a trained nurse and health visitor and formerly Nurse Executive on the Board of South Kent Community Health Care NHS Trust, has decided that it’s time to take a back seat and enjoy her garden and her home, which she shares with her partner in Elham.

David Shore, Partnership and Regeneration Manager at Shepway District Council, said: “Many people in Shepway have much to thank Sylvia for. She will leave a legacy that continues to benefit hundreds of people under the dedicated guidance of the team she recruited to carry on the good work.

“I will miss Sylvia a great deal, she is a force to be reckoned with. If you gave her a challenge she would move heaven and earth to rise to it. Many people are overwhelmed by her presence but if you want a good job done – Sylvia was the one to deliver it for you. I wish her every happiness in her retirement.�