Charter Savings Bank helps Play Cafe make a difference to local children
As part of our commitment to giving something back to our communities, Charter Savings Bank is delighted to support Wolves Play Cafe a non-profit community organisation set up to deliver “stay and play” sessions to children under 7 (and their parents and caregivers) across Wolverhampton.
Our support includes a donation to the cafe, which has bought new uniforms and provided safeguarding training for all the staff. This includes induction training and basic early years practice training to ensure that the sessions they deliver are of the highest quality. The funds also supported the purchase of domains and software programmes - a vital resource.
Creating invaluable opportunities
Founded in 2018 by mother and daughter team Lisa and Helen Stallard, the cafe facilitates varied opportunities to support the development and independence of children, and reduce feelings of isolation of caregivers of young children by providing a safe, friendly and welcoming space.
In 2019 the activities were mostly indoors, but due to the pandemic they had to move outdoors so the sessions could continue. It started with just songs and stories and children learning about the environment, but has now evolved into sensory stations, mud kitchen, gardening activities and many more.
It was a vital resource during the pandemic, with many new parents locked down and isolated it provided a place to meet new people, have a chat over a cup of tea and enabled their children to have a much-needed opportunity to interact with others.
Using local community resources
They use various spaces around the city to facilitate the sessions, including Gatis Community Space, The Light House, Wednesfield Community Centre and All Saints Community Centre, as well as local schools. Activities include Wolves in the Woods (where children learn about the nature surrounding them and can let their imagination run wild), Drop-in Nature Play (where they can play in the mud kitchen and inspect plants with microscopes), and Pop-Up Play (an indoor session involving nursery rhymes and play with different sensory materials).
Last summer the cafe delivered 12 stay and play sessions in various parks around the area, with 260 under 7s and 150 caregivers joining in altogether.
One parent said: “I’m not a huge outdoor person so Wolves in the Woods has given me ideas on how to incorporate outdoor play at home. It’s been invaluable.”
Children also receive “Play at home” packs so they can carry on their activities in-between sessions at home.
Co-founder Lisa Stallard said: “I would like to say a huge thank you to Charter Savings Bank for your generous donation. The funds will enable us to invest in new staff, as well as the systems to support hundreds of families with young children in the area. This will support the development of little ones at this challenging time whilst also helping reduce feelings of isolation and loneliness of caregivers by creating spaces to share important stories.”
Find out more about the successful activities and projects that have been carried out.
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