Play service for children in deprived Darlington wards is safe for another year

Groundworks host an outdoor playgroup for children. Pictured with hula hoops is Elisha Wright (8)

Groundworks host an outdoor playgroup for children. Pictured with hula hoops is Elisha Wright (8)

First published in News
Last updated
by , Reporter (Darlington)

A CHILDREN’S play service that was lost last year due to funding cuts is back up and running again.

The popular service, run by Groundwork North East and Cumbria, provided play clubs for children in poorer parts of Darlington but stopped last spring after their contract with Darlington Borough Council expired.

About £80,000 was needed to keep the clubs running and Groundworks has now secured Lottery funding and a grant from the CCG Innovation Fund to revive the service.

A one-off activity morning was held at the Head of Steam railway museum and play co-ordinator Sarah Small said she hoped future sessions could be held there over the summer.

She said: “It is a bit like a continuous funding battle to keep going every year, but we have been able to demonstrate that we are a valuable service.

“We are working with the most deprived wards in the town to deliver open access play to all children.”

Groundworks is staging extra play sessions over the Easter holidays in addition to the weekly clubs it runs at Firthmoor, Branksome, Redhall, Albert Hill, Skerne Park, North Road and Northgate.

These will include arts and crafts, sports, games, role play, messy play and more.

All outdoor sessions are free and all indoor sessions are charged at £1 per child which includes a drink and healthy snack.

For information about play session times and venues visit darlingtonplay.org.uk or call 01325 353791.

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