BBC Children in Need Grant Awarded to Hackney Playbus

BBC Children in Need has awarded Hackney Playbus three years funding to deliver weekly Playbus sessions in Rowley Gardens, Woodberry Down to provide support to families who have been provided temporary accommodation in hostels in the area. The award will also fund a weekly play session at St Peter’s Crypt, Northchurch Terrace, for families in nearby hostel accommodation in E8 and N1.

The bid cast light on the challenges faced by the hundreds of families currently living in hostel accommodation in Hackney, through no fault of their own.  Families face lack of space for children to play, and “no visitor” rules can leave parents and their children feeling cut off from their friends and family.  For the children, the experience of growing up in a hostel environment can have a profound affect on their lives. Our project is designed to give these children increased opportunities to develop their emotional and social skills in a friendly environment, where they can build trusting relationships with qualified early years staff.

The funded activities will include outreach to find families who need the service; delivery of weekly play services for children 0-4 years and their parents/carers; and linking of families into other services. We will be working in partnership with Homerton Hospital Speech and Language therapists, dietitians, the health visiting team and local Children’s Centres. Hackney Playbus staff always ensure a warm welcome and relaxed and supporting environment so families get to know each other, support each other and plan other activities together.

Claire Kelly, Hackney Playbus Director said “We are delighted to have the support of Children in Need for our project providing a support service for with families living in hostels in Hackney. The feedback we receive from the parents and carers who use our services highlights the impact that our play sessions have on the healthy development of their children’s  physical social and emotional skills through providing fun opportunities for active play and learning.”

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