Bags of Play for our Community

We are so pleased to be collaborating again with the Play and Learn Cafe after our cook & eat sessions at their Thursday Messy Play had to stop during lockdown. 

Gail, who set up this fantastic company, tells us more: 

“Play and Learn Café is a Community Interest Company who run fun, messy and sensory play sessions in Clapham Park and Brixton. They are famous for their commercial Messy Monday and Messy Saturday sessions in venues in Clapham, and work also with private Nurseries.

More recently, they have also been successful in getting funding from LEAP to run free ‘Stay and Play’ sessions, with a messy focus, in community venues in Brixton. The Covid-19 lockdown brought a halt to ‘Messy Play at St Matthews’ sessions in the Tulse Hill Ward, which had large numbers attending each week. Children enjoyed a range of exploratory and sensory play activities, including the usual sand, water, playdough, but also had fun getting messy in things like foam, ice, cereal and jelly, around themes such as farm animals, zoo animals, dinosaurs and mini-beasts. 

They worked in partnership with The Healthy Living Platform and, on a rota basis, adults attending worked with the lovely Helen and Zoe to create wonderfully tasty, fresh and healthy vegetarian dishes that everyone enjoyed together at the end of the session. 

A similar project was about to take place at Southwyck Hall in Coldharbour Ward in March. In fact a Coffee Morning to encourage families in the area to attend had to be cancelled just before the lockdown was announced! 

With all face to face play sessions cancelled for the foreseeable future, things were not looking good.

But Play and Learn Café are back!! Along with LEAP funding, they have been successful in attracting funding from The National Lottery Community Fund and are creating Play Bags, packed with high quality, age and developmentally appropriate, sensory toys and books, for families who need them. The bags come in 3 age groups: 0-6 months, 6-18 months, and 18-36 months.

Play and Learn Café pride themselves in working in partnership with local colleagues who support families. The Play Bags will be distributed by agencies and organisations in Lambeth who work directly with families needing support, such as Children’s Centres and Health Visitors, and The Healthy Living Platform! So if you receive hot meals or food parcels with them, and you have a little one in these age groups, look out for the delivery of your gifted Play Bag! 

It is very much hoped that you enjoy the contents and we would love to see photos of your little ones enjoying the bags and hear your feedback. And we hope to see you in the near future at one of our events. Stay safe and well!”

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