Kirklees Neighbourhood Housing has produced a video highlighting its Summer Playscheme initiative which has benefitted more than 500 children across a dozen estates. What started as a way to give children some citizenship skills and a bit of fun over the summer holidays has turned into a wider project to reduce the effects of poverty on children and their parents.
This year’s scheme focused on play experience and how it influences personal growth and development. With a team that comprised experienced play facilitators, a fine artists, a senior play leader and community workers, children from KNH estates learned a wide variety of skills.
“We ran taster sessions within local schools aimed at transition aged children and enlisted the help of teachers to identify children who would benefit from a week’s worth of imaginative but structured play and whose parents were unlikely to have the means to enrol their children in any commercially run holiday play clubs” says a spokesperson for KNH. “The feedback from providers, children and parents suggested that the short-term impact at least was considerable with many children not only engaging in the activities on offer but sharing very profound insights about their relationship to their environment, art, team work and their future… What we discovered and which is echoed in the film, is that where adults offer an activity structure or theme but encourage children to negotiate how the play unfolds, a rich, organic expression of free play emerges which can be extremely creative and participatory.”
KNH’s project was supported by Communities Who Can, Kirklees Council, University of Huddersfield, First, Metro, Magnet and a wealth of community volunteers. The NHC is delighted to share one of our member organisations’ exciting work. If you would like one of your association’s recent successes featured on the NHC website, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org