Inspiring plan for perfect play

PUBLISHED: 08:05 21 May 2011

Play scheme to restart

Play scheme to restart


COMMUNITIES will be brought together by a new play organisation which has been launched in North Somerset.

Inspire - Building Community Confidence has been created by three former play rangers and aims to build on a successful scheme which had to be stopped due to a lack of funding.

Debbie Lawrence, from Cleeve, Sharon Bradley, from Banwell, and Cefn Kendall, from Winford, were all previously employed by North Somerset Council to operate six play pods which were introduced at different locations across the district in 2008 and contained all sorts of sporting and play equipment for youngsters to use. The sites included ones in Yatton, Worle and Banwell.

Funding for the scheme ran out in March and the trio - now operating as directors of Inspire - have set up their own organisation.

Debbie said: “Inspire is a new organisation which intends to build on the excellent foundations established by North Somerset’s Community Play Team. They showed that by re-engaging with, and consulting with, disaffected groups, it is possible for communities to shape themselves in ways that residents can feel proud about.”

Inspire aims to work with children and young people, as well as local community groups, to improve community spaces such as parks, village greens and play spaces.

The directors also intend to work with schools to help them provide the best possible play facilities for pupils and will also train volunteers and support workers to help them put on activities in their communities.

Debbie, Sharon and Cefn will also run Forest Fun, which includes team-building games, shelter building, woodland crafts, fire building and outdoor cooking, aimed at promoting an understanding of the natural world while also encouraging good communication skills, team work and independence.

Inspire also has its very own trailer, kitted out with equipment and resources, which will travel around the district promoting positive play in parks, schools and at community events.

North Somerset Council’s popular play pod 
and play ranger scheme came to an end in March after a £342,000 grant from the Big Lottery Fund ran out.

As well as meaning the council could no longer maintain the pods, it also meant the majority of play rangers lost their jobs.

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