Charlton Park’s Big Red Bus Club has been given a grant to help it keep its volunteer programme running for another year – including its online storytelling sessions for families stuck at home during lockdown.
The charity, which runs the under-fives’ play centre off Cemetery Lane, was awarded £6,825 from the housing association L&Q’s Place Makers Fund.
Since the coronavirus emergency began, its volunteers have been running daily live storytelling online for local families with a range of activities and songs. These run every weekday at 1.30pm.
The club also offers career development support for its volunteers, aiming to support those kept out of the workplace through being a parent.
Its chief executive, Annie Drewry, said: “Big Red Bus Club and the families we support are facing uncertain times. L&Q support means we can carry on and keep supporting families and children so they don’t feel so alone and isolated even though they are living in isolation. We urge local families across Greenwich to join our online community of activities that L&Q support has kept alive.”
Children In Need funds the club’s Play Plus project, which allows parents and children under five with special educational needs to take part in music and art activities.
Felstead joined in with storytelling and sensory play to launch the Power of Play campaign, which aims to help children in every community in the UK have somewhere safe to play so they can develop their skills.
She said: “I had such a fantastic time at the project. It was brilliant to meet with the project workers, the parents and their children and to see how much they enjoyed the play activities was incredibly special.”
The Power of Play campaign is being held with Asda, where customers will be able to pick up free “play passes” which children will be able to ‘’trade in” with an adult for 30 minutes of play. Each of the play passes offers a different play activity, and will help children to learn a variety of life skills, such as teamwork, patience and resilience, that will aid their development.
Steph Brett-Lee, Asda’s senior director of community and corporate affairs, said: “At Asda we are so pleased that our Power of Play campaign with BBC Children in Need will help to provide even more play opportunities, just like this one, across the UK.
“It’s fantastic to see how the money raised helps support groups like the Big Red Bus Club to fund their Play Plus project which gives children a place where they can enjoy inclusive play activities and make new friends. It’s clear to see how much that this is valued and enjoyed by the children and their parents.”