Young children in Wingate and Station Town will be able to help their parents beat isolation and stress with new messy play sessions thanks to funding from a social landlord.
Wingate and Station Town Family Centre has introduced new weekly sessions of messy play activities for young children thanks to a grant from County Durham Housing Group. The sessions have been specifically designed to help babies or young children prepare for nursery, and support disadvantaged families.
Around 30 families are expected to benefit from the new sessions, which run every Friday. They will allow youngsters to experiment with all elements of play, including a new jelly pit, in the safety of the centre. Volunteers qualified in childcare and education are on hand throughout to allow youngsters to learn and to help their parents find out how to encourage their child’s development.
The sessions are expected to offer a valuable social outlet for parents too, reducing isolation and improving mental health. Volunteers at the centre will also help parents by providing opportunities to engage with education or training that could boost their employment prospects.
County Durham Housing Group provided £500 to enable the sessions to take place through its ‘group grant’ programme. The programme has helped more than 50 grass roots organisations since it was launched in summer 2017.
Damian Pearson, County Durham Housing Group Funding Officer, said: “Kids do love to make a mess, whether it’s with paint or indeed jelly, so it’s easy to see how the children taking part in these sessions will benefit. But, it’s important not to underestimate the impact that these activities will have for their parents too. They’re an opportunity to meet new people, share experiences and discover new opportunities.
“Projects like this that have such a big impact at a very local level are exactly the kind of activities our group grant programme was created to support.”
Alison Nutter from the family centre said: “Grants that respond quickly to local needs make a big difference to small charities and the communities they support.”
The application process for ‘group grant’ has been kept deliberately simple and funding decisions will be made monthly to ensure local groups are not waiting for lengthy periods to find out if they have been successful.