Carnival to celebrate 30 years of Pen Green Centre in Corby

Pen Green centre for children and families in Corby marks its 30th anniversary this year and on Saturday a carnival is being held as part of the celebrations.

Called Routes to Roots, the carnival will be officially opened at 2pm with a parade to celebrate the cultural diversity of the 26 nationalities who use the centre.

The procession by families, children and staff will parade down Nasmith Avenue, along Stephenson Way and Whitworth Avenue before returning to the centre, when the fun day will begin at 3pm.

Tracey Coull, creche manager at the centre and event organiser, said: “We are looking forward to families having great fun and to celebrate that Pen Green is still around after 30 years.”

Tracey has received help to plan the event from 12 members of the Carnival Arts Group from Hereford and London.

They have been holding workshops at the centre to prepare youngsters for the big day.

Since 1996, the group has been developing visual arts ideas and working with children around the country to create colourful sculptures and encouraging them to take part in carnival processions within communities, schools and festivals.

Youngsters at the Pen Green centre have been attending workshops on music, dance and movement and have been making 3D sculptures.

Tracey said: “Even the youngest children from one, two and three-year-olds will be taking part in the event.

“There will be a fun day after the carnival with many free activities for children, as well as stalls and refreshments.”

Residents are invited to attend all or part of the celebrations, including a ceilidh dance in the research base at the centre, with live music from 6pm to 9.30pm.

Pen Green is also creating a new photographic exhibition on its work and development during the past 30 years.

The centre has won praise from politicians and experts in education.

Outstanding achievements

Pen Green in Corby has won national recognition as a centre of excellence for children and families.

It has been rated outstanding in successive Ofsted inspections and won awards for its services, from health care and educational opportunities to baby and toddler provision and after school clubs.

Of the centre’s 100 staff, half were parents who used its services and went on to further education and 76 per cent are graduates.

Its aspirational approach saw 100 parents complete adult education courses last year.