PlayBoard NI, the lead agency for play in Northern Ireland has welcomed the NI Executive’s decision to allow the reopening of soft play areas from Monday 14 September.

In welcoming the decision to reopen, PlayBoard Director of Service Delivery and Development Alan Herron said:

“Research undertaken by PlayBoard has shown the significant impact the severe restrictions associated with lock-down have had on the lives of children and young people who have found their natural energy and desire to play curbed.”

“Restricted access to play activities and social distancing measures have all had a far reaching impact on children’s ability to engage in play activities that are central to development, learning, health and happiness.”

“As an organisation, PlayBoard is acutely aware of the negative impact lockdown has had on children and young people’s physical and emotional health and well-being, and we welcome the reopening of soft play areas as a further step back towards normality.”

PlayBoard played an active role in the reopening of soft play areas, providing guidance to The Executive Office as part of a working group established to advise the Executive and develop guidance to providers to support the safe reopening of soft play areas.