Play Gloucestershire works in the open air with schools and communities to deliver free and inclusive creative and active play sessions, engaging with children and particularly children from disadvantaged backgrounds, from rurally isolated communities, dealing with mental health issues and some living as young carers.
Play rangers are there to provide the children with friendship, fun and through play develop their social skills and keep them healthy and happy. When the Covid-19 pandemic hit, the support had to be stopped overnight; the charity had to reduce their team of eighteen to just three people who had to find a way to continue their essential services to children when contact was not allowed.
Funding from the NET’s Coronavirus Appeal, through Gloucestershire Community Foundation, helped the team to design and produce ‘Bags for Play’: bags filled with craft materials, paints, colouring books and games, as a way to engage children’s minds, body and creativity whilst many were stuck in their homes without access to outdoor space.
The team distributed the bags directly to their families and also via food banks and local councils, ensuring the resources were getting to the children who needed them the most.