Springers Afterschool is based in Forthspring on the Springfield Road, Belfast.

Springers recently availed of support rolled out by PlayBoard NI to help play providers involved in the Bright Start scheme achieve and maintain settings that provide a fun environment allowing children to attempt new activities, undertake new challenges, and facilitate the child’s natural instinct to play.

Springers participated in four onsite visits facilitated by Bríd Duffy. The first, to undertake an assessment to determine areas of need solely in regard to the play offer within their setting. This concentrated on the actual environment indoors and outdoors, the playwork ethos, the provision of play types, and the play equipment on offer using a template designed by PlayBoard to determine a baseline starting point.

The support involved discussion and observation, with the project given some play related targets to work towards ahead of each meeting. PlayBoard also supported the project throughout the process in implementing the action plan and obtaining physical resources which were generously donated by other Bright Start projects locally.

We would like to commend Charlene and the team, staff, volunteers and children, for their investment, passion, positivity, hard work and determination to make this change happen and improving their play offer. We thank them for taking part in our Play Audit and we wish them every success for the future.

“The staff and children would like to say a big thank you to everyone at PlayBoard for their help in making our setting a safe and fun play environment for us.

The children in our Afterschool have had the opportunity to share what they wanted by participating in their own children’s committee. We try to make sure that every child’s voice is heard and that they know that their opinion matters.

Having the help from PlayBoard we were able to create different play opportunities for our children in the Afterschool. The children have really enjoyed the fact that we have introduced them to new types of play like the mud kitchen, house corner and big indoor space that they may not have had experienced before. We now have more resources to offer to the children indoors and outdoors.

This has been a positive experience for staff – we all enjoy our work and working with PlayBoard. As a staff team we can also see the difference this has made to each other and the children.”

Charlene Harris, Springers