Adventure playgrounds across Wrexham have opened their gates for longer this summer thanks to an exciting new pilot project to address food poverty for children in Wales.
At least 65,000 children in Wales were at risk of going hungry through the school holidays according to the Bevan Foundation with over 3,000 of those children in Wrexham alone. The ‘Holiday Hunger Playwork Pilot’ was backed by Welsh Government funding and meant adventure playgrounds at The Venture, Gwenfro Valley and The Land were able to provide healthy meals for children who came to play.
Gareth Stacey, Assistant Team Lead of the WCBC Play & Youth Support Team (PYST), who coordinated the pilot, said the funding, “allowed us to ensure fewer children go hungry whilst at the same time extending opportunities for children to play. We’d like to thank the Diocese of St Asaph for providing the food, the adventure playgrounds and Lesley Griffiths AM and Ian Lucas MP for their hard work in making this pilot a reality.”.
This has been particularly good news for Wrexham Youth And Play Partnership (WYPP) who were able to open Gwenfro Valley Adventure Playground for an extra two days thanks to the pilot. Sarah Roberts, a parent, volunteer and member of the Gwenfro Valley Steering Group, said “the extra sessions on the playground have been incredible for these kids. This time last year, we nearly closed and we’ve wanted the playground open longer ever since. Here we are, a year down the line and we’re open two extra days and making sure these kids are getting fed through the holidays.”.
Wrexham MP Mr Lucas has been working hard in Westminster since 2014 to highlight the issue of holiday hunger in Wrexham and other parts of the UK. He joined his wife Norah and local volunteer Sandra Haskey to help prepare meals for the project on Thursday, August 1st.