Play team receive National Lottery award from Big Lottery Fund

An award winning East Ayrshire Council team can expand their service further after receiving a £373,061 National Lottery award from the Big Lottery Fund.

The EA Play and Early Intervention team has been recognised nationally for their innovative work within the local prison, HMP Kilmarnock and with vulnerable families, including Kinship Care families.

Through play the team helps to increase confidence, skills and bonding which in turn develops positive family relationships.

In Scotland over 27,000 children are affected by the imprisonment of a parent and Play in Prison helps to maintain family ties and improve communications and relationships between parent and child during this time. Evidence suggests that prisoners who maintain contact with their families are six times less likely to reoffend.

Councillor Elena Whitham, Cabinet Member for Housing and Communities said: “This Big Lottery grant will help the EA Play and Early Intervention team focus on empowering and upskilling the individuals and families they work with. Through sharing skills, experience and knowledge the team will promote community connections, helping communities to become self-sufficient and create sustainable change.

“The play in prison project is clearly demonstrating the importance of play in the lives of children and their parents. Sometimes people feel a bit embarrassed or silly playing with their children, but the team is working to change this mindset. Play is essential to create confident children and strong parental bonds.

“The funding will help the team to expand the project further and will also help to create volunteering opportunities for local young people and adults. This will ensure the project becomes community focused and sustainable into the future.”

Big Lottery Fund Scotland Chair, Maureen McGinn, said: “I am delighted that the EA Play and Early Intervention team has been successful in securing a Big Lottery Fund grant. The funding will make a big difference where it is needed most and I wish East Ayrshire Council every success as it goes on to develop and expand its project for the benefit of their local community.”

EA Positive Play is an integral part of the Early Intervention and Prevention Service provided by Vibrant Communities, reflecting their commitment to making East Ayrshire a strong, safe and vibrant community where everyone has a good quality of life and access to opportunities.

The team work closely with families who have either self-referred or have been referred by professionals.

For more information please contact 01563 576354 or email

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