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Mum thanks caring centre

PUBLISHED: 10:56 04 February 2010 | UPDATED: 11:19 12 August 2010

A MOTHER-of-three who suffered a life-changing accident has praised a community children s centre for getting her family s life back on track.

A MOTHER-of-three who suffered a life-changing accident has praised a community children's centre for getting her family's life back on track.

Sara El-Shennawy, 32, from Orpington, thanked staff at The Blenheim Children's Centre, in Bromley, for helping her to recover from a fall that left her in "unbearable" pain and led to serious depression.

Through the centre, which is part of the government's Sure Start programme, Ms El-Shennawy has taken GCSE courses in English and maths, made friends with other parents and now finds her young children more settled. Her eldest daughter, Aisha, was diagnosed with autism when she was six.

Ms El-Shennawy gave birth to twins Kian and Mya three years ago and recently doctors told her that Kian too suffered from autism.

She said: "Things started to get better for us two years ago when I heard another mum talking about the Blenheim Sure Start Children's Centre. It sounded wonderful, and I called the centre as soon as I got home.

"Everyone I met was lovely and took the time to talk to me about me, my family and how they could help. I was impressed, it was warm, friendly and I felt safe there."

Ms El-Shennawy, who weighed 26 stone at one point, says the centre helped her to get fit and active despite her back pain. She now weighs 13 stone.

She said: "We are a happier family thanks to the Sure Start Children's Centre and our lives are much better than I thought they could be.

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