Playtime in the Park

Three years ago as part of its `summer activities' programme Home-Start decided to offer families supported by the scheme the opportunity to meet up with other families in Astley Park during the school summer holidays.

We decided to speak to Chorley Council, as they had a range of activities on offer through 'Get Up and Go' and we felt that they might be able to offer an activity to families with young children. We also invited Chorley Children's Centres along to the planning meeting to see whether we could expand what we could offer. After discussions with these agencies we decided to offer a variety of craft and sport activities together with a Victorian funfair and Punch and Judy to give the families a day out that was fun, catered for the different needs and was low cost. The first event was a great success with around 400 people attending. Evaluations of this first day confirmed that the event was attended by targeted families (those supported by Home-Start and the Children's Centres) as well as other Chorley families. Families felt it had met their needs of having somewhere local to go as a family that did not cost anything, and kept the whole family entertained. During the past couple of years the event has been continually improved and more attractions added, all keeping to the theme of low cost and family focussed activities.

On Wednesday 29 August 2012 we held our third `Playtime in the Park' event in Astley Park Chorley. This year the partnership between Home-Start, Chorley Council, and Chorley Children's Centres has grown to include Chorley Play Partnership, Albany school, and the Arts Partnership.

What worked well...

Unfortunately the day started with torrential rain which meant that some of the attractions had to be cancelled because of the ground conditions. It was decided to carry on with the crafts, face painting, Hook a Duck etc in the Barn area and Storytelling in Astley Hall and see how the weather progressed throughout the day. During the morning the weather improved enough to enable Chorley Borough staff to quickly put out a range of activities and games in the walled garden and for the Punch and Judy to go ahead. Despite the weather the event still attracted around 350 people. Feedback from families was very positive with some families feeding back ideas for future events and some families asking for further information from the agencies delivering this event.

Result!

Home-Start feels that by working in partnership with other agencies we have been able to offer Chorley families a unique event that no one single agency could have achieved alone. It has also strengthened the relationship between these agencies enabling other events to be discussed and delivered and many more children and their parents have been able to take part in activities that otherwise might not have been able to access. This year's event included a range of activities for example:

  • Tin Can Alley
  • Hook a Duck
  • Welly Throwing
  • Musical Stepping
  • Stones Hop Scotch
  • Giant Jenga
  • Colouring Competition
  • Donkey Rides
  • Birds of Prey exhibition
  • Gymnastics
  • Parachute Games

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