AN award-winning community project based in the east end of Glasgow is encouraging parents to put down their mobile phones, switch of their computers and spend quality play time with their children.
Says a spokesperson: “This comes following the launch of a new report, Joining the Dots, a better start for Scotland’s children, by former Health Minister, Susan Deacon, on improving a youngster’s start in life.
“PEEK (Possibilities East End Kids) is championing play as an essential part of a child’s development and is encouraging adults to take the time to have good old-fashioned fun with their child, such as den building, baking and games.”
Since October 2009, PEEK staff and volunteers have been working and playing with children and young people in ten different areas across the east end of Glasgow. However, PEEK believes that it is essential that parents also take the time to play with their children.
Melodie Crumlin, project development manager, said: “There’s no better feeling in the whole world for a child as when they spend time with their parent(s). My fondest memories of childhood was spending time with my mum in the kitchen, helping to stir, fold, bake and ice cakes as well as lick the bowl. This play time helped my mum and I talk, share and have fun together. Nothing beats those precious memories.”
Some tips and ideas for parents:
* Make up a box of crafts, games, books, dressing up clothes – you don’t need to buy lots of materials, just use things you have around the house – children have great imaginations!
* Give your child your undivided attention – turn off mobile phones, computers and televisions!
* Encourage your child to pick what they want to do – this helps them learn to make their own choices and decisions!
* Don’t be afraid to get messy – kids love getting making a mess! Put on some old clothes, put down some old newspapers and get the paints out!
* Allow your child to take risks – risk taking is an important part of child development. For example, sometimes allowing your child to climb a tree can be more beneficially than dangerous!
* Get involved – there is nothing your child will love more than seeing you join in, be silly and get messy!
project development manager
PEEK (Possibilities for East End Kids)
Gallowgate Parish Church
St. Lukes Building
17 Bain Street
PEEK Possibilities East End Kids
Scottish Charity no. SC030814, Company No. 273704
Ran approximately 200 Street Play sessions over 420 hours in the last six months, in eight different areas across the city’s east end
Has worked with over 850 children and young people aged 5-21 over the last ten years
Has expanded its reach and now works across the east centre and Calton area of Glasgow
300 children and 70 young people take part in PEEK activities in a typical week, with a particularly high level of demand from primary school children
Has won many awards for its work, including:
Nancy Ovens Play Award 2010
Provision of the best play opportunities for development through Play.
Strathclyde Youth Awards
Community Project of 2009
Strathclyde Youth Awards
Adult Volunteer of the year 2010
SOS Sense over Sectarianism
Secured and managed over £1.5 million of grants and donations from funders and supporters
Contributed to a range of local partnerships and networks including the International Youth Exchange Programme, more than 20 young people have experienced an exchange to Europe; the East End Youth Bank- a funding body led by young people for young people. Over £5,000 of grants given out to local individuals and groups
PEEK employs 14 local people, four of whom have come up through the project since 2000 and has many young people who volunteer with it: 12 young people currently give at least 2.5 hours per week to the project
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Contact: Andrea Pearson