Research carried out by the Cedarwood Trust showed children in Meadow Well in North Shields were not getting enough outside activity.
Following support the Cedarwood Trust has been able to train a team of 17 volunteer ‘Play Champions’ to work with 200 children and teach them fun activities to play outside. They are developing a Play Map to highlight the best and safest areas to play different games.
The Port of Tyne pledges 1% of its Profit before Tax every year to the Port of Tyne Community Action Fund at the Community Foundation Tyne & Wear and Northumberland.
Phil McGrath, Chief Executive of Cedarwood Trust – a community development charity working on the Meadow Well estate, said: “We have been talking to the Meadow Well community for a while about what issues they faced. The main one that kept coming up was play. We started to look at what was around and what children did for entertainment. We were staggered by how little time children spent playing outside.
“The Play Map project, made possible through the Port of Tyne Community Action Fund grant, has enabled us to raise the profile of play on the Estate and we have started to make a shift in the community’s attitudes towards children and young people who play outside.
“We have trained a pool of 17 Play Champions at level one and have encouraged some of these to follow the level two certificate.”
The Cedarwood Trust is also aiming to build up a store of equipment so children can take part in sport such as street tennis and pupils at St. Joseph’s Primary School have been enjoying traditional games such as tug of war, skipping, hide and seek, hopscotch and ball games. The plan is to go into more schools to roll out the scheme.
Susan Wear, Director of Corporate Affairs Port of Tyne, said: “The fund’s objective is to enrich the social and cultural life of communities and to help improve young people’s aspirations through learning and development.
“The Meadow Well Play Map project provides inspiration and it is good to see the impact the grant has already had on the children and the wider community.”
Mr McGrath added: “The work towards the Play Map has been a catalyst for change on the estate, beginning the conversations with residents about play and the need for play and how it encourages children to engage in healthy, physical and intellectual activity in the safe environment of their own community.”
Elaine Holdsworth, Senior Philanthropy Advisor at the Community Foundation added:
“The Port of Tyne care about the community in which it operates and through their Fund at the Community Foundation we can support projects such as the Cedarwood Trust, which focuses on improving the quality of life and life chances, particularly for children and young people in our North Tyneside.
“Through our corporate funds at the Community Foundation we’re able to empower local business to play a vital role in creating stronger communities, supporting people to overcome disadvantage and helping to make our region a great place to live.”