£340,000 grant is child's play

SIX 'play rangers' will be hired by North Somerset council after it was handed more than £340,000 in lottery cash. The council

SIX 'play rangers' will be hired by North Somerset council after it was handed more than £340,000 in lottery cash.The council will hire the rangers to supervise and guide children and young people on how to use new play pods which will be set up in places such as Clevedon, Nailsea, Pill and Yatton.The rangers will work in teams of two as part of a three-year project.The play pods will be made from old shipping containers, which will be painted and filled with equipment for children to use.The units will be designed with the help of youngsters and will contain equipment chosen by children.North Somerset Council has been working with North Somerset Play Forum, town and parish councils and Barnardo's to draw up the plans.The authority successfully bid for a £341,000 share of the Big Lottery Fund's £155million children's play initiative.After the stringent application process the council is proposing to set up pods in Pill, either Yatton or Claverham, Clevedon, Nailsea as well as sites in Worle and Banwell. Pods could include climbing walls, a basketball shoot wall, a graffiti wall and also have areas for play such as hopscotch and quiet seating.Play rangers will work in pairs at the pods and encourage play as well as advising on health and safety and working with local people to offer training and support in play work. The rangers will also be helping to reduce antisocial behaviour.North Somerset Council's executive member for children and young people's services, Cllr Jeremy Blatchford, said: "The project is not about teaching children to play but developing an active lifestyle, creativity, self reliance."This is one government programme which has come complete with adequate funding expressing a brave solution to getting children off the settee, away from the TV set and being sociable active children.

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