Children and young people from across East Ayrshire have been enjoying a summer of fun thanks to the Council’s Vibrant Communities.
Vibrant Communities Play and Early Intervention team organised five Summer of Play events in Bellsbank, Catrine, Cumnock, Hurlford and Rankinston. The weather may have been dreich at times, but it hasn’t stopped our children and young people and their families having fun.
The team, along with the Home Link Team, welcomed over 400 children and young people and over 250 parents and carers to the events where they took part in fun activities including the mud kitchen, which was incredibly popular; water slides, sports activities, nature crafts, sensory play, sand and water play and the ever popular, obstacle course.
The events were supported by partners including the Young Carers Service, Scottish Fire and Rescue’s Community Action team and pump engine; Active Schools and the Council’s Speech and Language team.
Catering Services has been working throughout the summer providing healthy packed lunches for all the summer programme events and has been at all five Summer of Play events running a free BBQ for our children and young people and their families.
Councillor Neal Ingram, Cabinet Spokesperson for Community Safety, Roads and Transportation and Community Cohesion joined the Summer of Play event at Woodroad Park with local member Councillor Neil Watts. Councillor Ingram said: “It was a real pleasure to join Vibrant Communities and Catering Services at the Summer of Play event at Woodroad Park. I spent time chatting to local families and it was great to hear first-hand how important events like this are to their wellbeing and of course, it was fantastic to see our children and young people having such a great time.
“The Catering team let Cllr Watts and I get involved in the BBQ, and we had the opportunity to serve up burgers and hot dogs, which was a lot of fun and the food went down extremely well.
“Thanks to the Scottish Government’s Get into Summer fund, Vibrant Communities and Catering Services have organised five events that have made a real difference to our communities. Food and play have such an important role in a child’s life. Play helps to develop essential life skills and the pandemic has highlighted just how vital it is for children and young people to enjoy opportunities to play and have fun with their peers and families.”
At Woodroad Park, Vibrant Communities worked in partnership with the Council’s What Matters 2 You team and partners including Aiofe’s Sensory Bus, Sticky Fingers and WG13.
A real highlight was a visit from Animal Magic, a family run team who provide interactive and educational displays for children and adults of all ages. They brought a wide range of animals from snakes and guinea pigs to alpacas and llamas.
Scotty the Magician also attended the event, performing tricks and wowing the kids with magic. Scotty supports children and young people across our schools within East Ayrshire, using magic as a medium of interaction.
Tam from New Cumnock iLunch (a programme funded through the Strategic Equity Funding, that offers fun family learning sessions delivered by the SEF Home Link Team) and parental empowerment programme attended the Woodroad event in Cumnock. He said: “It was a well-run, fantastic programme of events and the kids and myself really enjoyed it. Educational and fun, it was a great opportunity to meet new friends and interesting people. Full marks to the team, it was a grade A stamp guaranteed from us.”
Parents and carers from across East Ayrshire really enjoyed the events. One mum from Rankinston ilunch said: “Thank you for doing this for us, the kids and I loved it. It was good to get out with other mums and kids too.”
Barbara, a gran from Onthank attended the Hurlford event. She said: “It was a fantastic wee day, fair cheered me and the kids up, thanks for inviting me.”
A mum from Newmilns ilunch attended the Hurlford event and said: “The kids loved the play sessions.”
While a parent from St.Xaviers Primary school who attended both the Bellsbank and Rankinston events said: “The kids absolutely loved it, thanks it’s been two great days out.”