Darlington Community Carnival has announced that its nominated charity for 2017 will be The Darlington Play Programme.
The Play Programme team works with children from some of the most disadvantaged wards in Darlington to encourage informal learning through natural play.
Sarah Small, play coordinator, of The Darlington Play Programme, said: “We are delighted to be named as the Community Carnival’s nominated charity for 2017. The money will enable us to continue providing open access, inclusive play to children aged five to thirteen years.
“For a child to experience a healthy and happy childhood, we truly believe they need a safe environment to explore and test their skills. Children need to run, jump, climb and move without constraint in order to develop and grow.
“The children involved always have such tremendous fun and it’s lovely to see them bringing so much joy to the people of Darlington.”
David French, Darlington Community Carnival Committee chairman, said: “The committee are extremely pleased to be supporting the Darlington Play Programme. Children from across the town are an integral part of the Community Carnival, so it feels fantastic to be able to give them something back”.
“I am also delighted to announce that the Carnival will be back for 2017 with the theme of ‘Children’s Books and Authors’, which is an area all members of the voluntary organising committee feels very passionate about.”
The announcement of the 2017 Darlington Community Carnival theme comes in the same month that ‘Lost Girls’, a damning report from GL Assessment, hit the news. The report points out that whilst boys remain the biggest issue when it comes to reluctant reading, a significant minority of ‘lost girls’ are being overlooked because they are better at hiding their reading difficulties than boys.
David French said: “We all know how hard it can be to encourage our children to read, especially with all the new technology available to them. However, we firmly believe that children are missing out on so much if they’re not reading, so we hope that that 2017 Carnival can inspire young minds!”
As ever, the committee would love to hear from anyone who wants to get involved. Because the Carnival is completely independently run and self-funding, the committee are always looking for volunteers, stallholders and sponsors.
The annual carnival will take place on Saturday 24 June 2017. The celebrations begin in the Market Square, before the parade makes it way to Stanhope Park where the carnival continues with a range of exciting stalls, live music, Children’s sports activities and other activities for all the family to enjoy.