Uniting communities through play

AN INNOVATIVE organisation has been launched in North Somerset to bring together communities while improving the opportunities for play in the district.

Inspire - Building Community Confidence has been created by three former play rangers and aims to build on a successful scheme which had to be stopped due to a lack of funding.

An official launch event for Inspire was held at the play structure off Pound Lane in Nailsea on Saturday.

Debbie Lawrence, Sharon Bradley and Cefn Kendall were all previously employed by North Somerset Council to operate six play pods which were introduced at different locations across the district in 2008 and contained a wealth of sporting and play equipment for youngsters to use.

These sites included the Salthouse Fields in Clevedon, Brookside in Pill and Pound Lane in Nailsea.

Lottery funding for the scheme ran out in March and the, now, three directors of Inspire set up their own organisation.

Debbie said: “Inspire is a new organisation which intends to build on the excellent foundations established by North Somerset’s Community Play Team, who showed that by re-engaging with, and consulting with, disaffected groups, it is possible for communities to shape themselves in ways that residents can feel proud of.”

Most Read

Inspire aims to work with children and young people, as well as local community groups, to improve community spaces such as parks, village greens and play spaces.

The directors also intend to work with schools to help them provide the best possible play facilities for pupils and will also train volunteers and support workers to help them put on activities in their communities.

Debbie, Sharon and Cefn will also run Forest Fun, which includes team-building games, shelter building, woodland crafts, fire building and outdoor cooking, aimed at promoting an understanding of the natural world while also encouraging good communication skills, team work and independence.

Inspire also has its very own trailer, kitted out with equipment and resources, that will travel around the district promoting positive play in parks, schools and at community events.