Elephants and spacemen help make special moments at 'fab' play scheme

Hannah Burns and Christopher Foster with (from left) Holly, Freya, Ava and Amelia.

Last week’s action packed Opening Doors Project play scheme lived up to its name with a host of activities ensuring the children had a fun half-term break. 

Called Fab Feb, the week-long event, held at the charity’s base at St Nathanael’s Church, kept kids (and parents and grandparents!) occupied with activities including arts and crafts. games, bingo, music, dancing, face painting and a chance to get up close to a range of exotic pets and animals. 

Funded by the Government’s Holidays Activities and Food (HAF) programme the scheme also provided families with breakfast and lunch each day. The week ended with a community bingo which was much enjoyed.   

Local resident Christopher Foster, who took his five-year-old daughter Freya along,  said the regular Opening Doors Project play schemes are a lifeline for many children in the area. 

“It’s amazing for the kids,” Christopher said, “It keeps them going – keeps them active and keeps their minds going. 

“It is unbelievable the time and effort the Opening Doors Project goes to to keep the kids happy. It is something for them to look forward to.”

Mr Foster added that the children enjoyed all of the activities on offer. “The kids just love it,” he said. “They also supply all the meals and breakfasts. 

“If there was not something like this, some kids would not know what to do.”

Young Freya agreed that the play scheme had been fun. “The best thing was making the elephants,” she said. 

Thanks to the help of resident arts and crafts teacher Hannah Burns, the children had fun making all kinds of colourful creations, including paper mache elephants, stained glass window effect pictures and spacemen. 

Following the days’ events, parents took to social media to express their appreciation.

Michelle Fleming said: “Thank you so much for today! George had the ‘best day’ he said. Once we got home we had a quick play with his bingo prize he won also xx.” 

Yvonne McFadyen said: “Thank you. It was our first play scheme with you. We had so much fun. Thanks again xxx”.

Meanwhile, Dave Mez said:  “Many thanks for the services you all provide, I can’t thank the staff enough.”

Gayle Connor-McCreith, coordinator at The Opening Doors Project, said the fun programme had helped create “special moments that last a lifetime”. “A very big thank you to our amazing team here at The Opening Doors Project and St Nathanael’s Church for your ongoing support and commitment,” she said, “Together we really are a collective and caring team.”

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