Positive Play at Legg Park
25 February 2013
Since September last year PlayBoard have been delivering a programme of outdoor play activities at Legg Park in Carrickfergus and two other parks in Antrim and Newtownabbey Council areas.
The programme has been funded by the CAN PEACE III Partnership. The CAN PEACE III Partnership is funded by the European Programme for Peace and Reconciliation which is managed by the Special EU Programmes Body. The Partnership is made up of representatives from across the three council areas and is working to build positive relations and develop a confident and peaceful future for all.
Despite the wintry weather conditions over the past few months, PlayBoard's Play Development Officers have been supporting children to become involved in a wide range of outdoor play activities within the parks. Activities have included den making, outdoor arts and crafts, traditional outdoor games and even cooking marshmallows around a fire pit!
The programme, which will run in each of the parks until the end of the summer has proven to be a big hit with children, parents and carers alike.
Speaking about the programme Alan Herron, PlayBoard's Director of Service Delivery and Development said ""PlayBoard are delighted to be working in partnership with the CAN PEACE III Partnership and the three councils, delivering a programme supporting children's play which is in line with the NI Executive's Play and Leisure Policy and the PEACE III objectives".
Alan continued "The Positive Play Programme is helping to make the parks more open and accessible for local people; with children, young people and their parents all reporting that they feel more comfortable playing in the parks, even during the winter months".
Eamonn Keenan, a member of the Play Development team helping to deliver the programme explained, "At the outset many parents reported fears at allowing their children to play outdoors in the parks because of the dark nights. These fears have been addressed by the PlayBoard team's presence in the parks, and thanks to the project over 320 children have been able to benefit to date from the outdoor play sessions."
Early evaluations of the programme have indicated that it has really made an impact, with one parent saying "The PlayBoard programme is providing children and young people with a great opportunity to play outdoors in the parks - especially during the winter months when the cold, dark nights tend to keep them indoors". Another said "The children can't wait to come along to the PlayBoard play sessions - even the cold, dark and wet nights don't deter them!."
Congratulating PlayBoard on the success of the initiative, Councillor Noreen McClelland, Chair of the CAN PEACE III Partnership said "We on the PEACE III Partnership are delighted with the results from this programme. Parks and green spaces should be places for all of our community to enjoy all year round. This programme encourages families to come out to play in and enjoy their local parks"
For further details on when the play programmes are running in each of the 3 parks, please contact PlayBoard on 028 9080 3380 or visit the PlayBoard NI Facebook page.