NEIGHBOURS enjoyed the chance to have their say on a new government initiative during the first of two half-term community events.

Sure Start, which aims to give children up to four a flying start in life, is gathering pace in Blackburn as consultation with the community begins in two new designated areas -- Audley and Queen's Park and Shadsworth and Whitebirk.

The two new areas bring the number of Sure Start schemes in Blackburn to four, following schemes in Mill Hill and Livesey.

The first Sure Start opened for business in Darwen 18 months ago.

As part of the consultation process fun days have been organised in the two new areas during half term.

The Sure Start Fun Day in Shadsworth and Whitebirk is being held yesterday at Shadsworth Neighbourhood Centre in Rothesay Road which included a World Percussion Music Workshop and other fun activities for children such as face painting, henna hand painting and Valentine's Day Card crafts.

The Sure Start Fun Day in Audley will be tomorrow at Lincoln Road Day Nursery in Audley from 10.30am to 3pm where Greggs Bakers in Audley have donated buns for an Ice your own bun stall and a local baker has baked a special Sure Start cake.

Ricardo the Children's Entertainer will be performing magic tricks and keeping youngsters entertained as well as face painting, Valentine's Day crafts, storytime and games. Indian Head Massage and Henna painting should keep parents amused.

Bob the Builder and Fizz from the Tweenies are due to make an appearance and families from both areas with children under four are welcome to attend and have some fun finding out about Sure Start.

All activities are free an all children must be accompanied by an adult.