A BIG birthday bash was held at a popular Sheffield children’s centre marking 15 years of fun.
The event at Ellesmere Children’s Centre in Burngreave was a multicultural bonanza of music, food and dance from five different continents, officially opened by the High Sheriff of South Yorkshire Andrew Coombe.
He marked the occasion by blowing out the candles on a special birthday cake, before cutting the first slice.
The day was open to all and featured a host of cultural delights from Africa, Arabia, Asia, Europe and the Americas.
Ellesmere, on Maxwell Street, has developed a reputation over the years for its award-winning child care and educational services.
The party featured children’s entertainer Mr Curley Wurley, Bollywood dancing and street dance taster sessions, a balloon race, bouncy castle, temporary tattoos, face painting, henna skin decoration, as well as nail art, hair braiding and Indian head massage.
“We really pushed the boat out this year with a bonanza of activities for people to come along and take part in and to have the High Sheriff along, too, was just fantastic,” said centre manager Sharon Curtis.
“With it being our 15th birthday we wanted people to come along and help us celebrate. We had stalls inside and outside the centre because so many people wanted to come along and be part of our multicultural celebration – it was a great day for everyone.”
The centre provides care and pre-school education for up to 50 children aged six months to five years and currently has children from Pakistani, African, Yemini, Polish, Sri Lankan, Jamaican, British, German, Moroccan, Dutch and Libyan origins.
Opened in 1996, the centre is a social enterprise, which means all of its profits are ploughed back into the service.
Families visiting the centre come from as far as Rotherham to make use of the services.
“We are recognised for our commitment to ethnically diverse education and for our inclusive approach to childcare,” Sharon said.
“Children benefit from being with us because they understand and accept others far more easily - they appreciate different cultures, which leads to bigger benefits in our communities.
“That’s why we have our multicultural celebration, because it reinforces the bonds within our community and makes us all the stronger - which is why we are still here after 15 years.”