Here at Creative Play we believe that every child should have the opportunity to play. As members of the API (The Association of Play Industries), we are regularly sent a number of enquiries over to see if/how we could assist with outdoor play/sports developments. The source of these enquiries can vary from community groups, schools, charities + more. We were recently sent over an email from Migrant Help UK who were looking to incorporate a new climbing structure at one of their new facilities.
Migrant Help UK was founded in 1963 by Helen Ellis (MBE), which was originally known as the ‘Kent Committee for the Welfare of Migrant’. Helen set up this charity to protect people affected by displacement and exploitation, helping them thrive and recover from trauma. They work hard supporting individuals who have been affected by Slavery & Human Trafficking, providing Asylum Support and Refugee Resettlement, in addition to advising individuals about the EU Settlement Scheme, and providing Clear Voice Interpreting Services.
Migrant Help’s vision is for a global society that protects victims of exploitation and displacement and treats them with respect enabling them to thrive as individuals by supporting those most in need and least likely to find support elsewhere, all whilst aiming to bridge community gaps and bring services and support together.
Migrant Help’s Community Liaison Officer, Sameera Hussain, contacted the API to reach out to businesses to help with providing play equipment for a new location that the home office had started to house families. This was located in a very isolated village with lots of land and not much for children to do.
We asked Sameera what triggered the idea of incorporating a new climbing frame into the new location, “The kids currently are not attending school and needed something to help stimulate their minds and also help with their mental health. Giving them the freedom to explore themselves in a safe environment, so thought this would be a good idea.”
“The children I support don’t get the opportunity to go to school like other children in the UK as finding them as suitable school place is very difficult. This means that they are not attending school for up to two years, they are living with their family all in one bedroom which can be very difficult with different age siblings all in one room for long periods of time.”
The new climbing frame was to be used by newly arrived Asylum Seekers children from the age of 3 upwards to help with their isolation, mental health and to help put some smiles back on children’s faces. As the experts, we know the importance of outdoor play and the impact it can have on a child’s development and therefore wanted to help!
After assessing the area, we decided to donate our Dart Activity Centre which allows open-ended play for up to 30 children at one time and caters for many age ranges, making it the perfect product choice.
We asked Sameera what impacts the new climbing frame would have on the children “This outdoor space you have kindly provided is going to put lots of smiles on children faces and their parents as when children are happy it makes their parents happy.”
“There are language barriers between our clients as they can be from different countries, this outdoor area will enable kids to play and put smiles on their faces using play to help break down these language barriers, also help build up their confidence to survive in this new country. “
“The therapeutic power of play helps children work through trauma and develop coping strategies which, will provide support to each individual child’s needs and your contribution has allowed this to happen. Without this our children would struggle for longer, now they can be like every child and just forget about the world’s problems and just play, so thank you so much for tuning their frown upside down. “
As a family run business and big believers of everyone should have access to play, Creative Play were extremely happy to help. When asking our Managing Director why he chose to donate a Dart Activity Centre, he said “This opportunity was sent through to us from Deb at the API and seeing the conditions that people were fleeing from and what they were prepared to go through on the news, I wanted to try to help in any way I could.”
“At the end of the day all children need somewhere to play and it seemed that the space that they had looked ideal for one of our Dart Activity Centres, I thought it would be a nice idea if we could donate on of these.”
When we broke the news to Sameera that we would be donating the Dart Activity Centre to the children, it was quite emotional, Sameera said “The truth is, I couldn’t believe it when I received the call, I want to cry. I was so overwhelmed with emotion that you as an organisation had such a big heart to give such a massive life changing donation to these children.”
“I really couldn’t thank you enough and I will never forget what generous people you are. I really hope as a business you are blessed and stay blessed so you can continue to make life changing impacts on individual lives for years to come. You have certainly contributed to the community and have made life changing impact to our children lives.”
The Dart Activity Centre now takes centre stage within their grassed area and the children will be able to enjoy for many years to come. Migrant Help are even considering changing the set-up of this facility from mixed accommodation to families only, so even more children will have the use and benefits of the new play area!
For more information visit: www.creativeplayuk.com or call 01244 375627. Facebook and Twitter @CreativePlayUK