A young Glasgow mother of five has been speaking about the importance of outdoor play in keeping children on the ‘straight and narrow’ as PEEK – Possibilities for Each and Every Kid – announces plans to expand its ‘Lets Play’ project. The expansion has been made possible, thanks to an award of £605,775 from our Investing in Communities fund.
Thanks to today’s funding, PEEK will be able to employ eight new Play Rangers, as well as sessional staff, to deliver free and active outdoor play sessions in the north and east of Glasgow. This will see the project doubling in size to provide all year round play sessions for 1,800 children aged 5 to 12 and 120 young people aged 13 to 25.
Angela Morrison, 27, has five children aged between 6 and 9 and has benefited from the services of PEEK as a child and as a mother. She said: “Growing up in the Gallowgate was tough. To this day there is still no community centre or playpark and all too often kids are getting caught up in gang fighting and drink and drugs. I don’t want these things for my children, which is why PEEK, and its outdoor play sessions, are so important for us as a family. With five children, our house can be crazy at times and so it’s important that my kids get outside into the fresh air to play and release some of that energy.”
Through its play sessions PEEK uses pavements and the wider urban green space for its active play sessions, all the while ensuring that safety is their number one priority.
Angela continues: “One of my sons, Dean, has ADHD which means I can’t let him out without supervision, particularly as we live near a main road. Being able to watch him play safely with other children, with the support and encouragement of PEEK’s Play Rangers, gives me that piece of mind.
“As a parent I also see the physical and emotional benefits of these sessions for all of my children. Not only do they play better with other children but PEEK also allows us to spend more time together as a family. There really is a lack of opportunities in our area to help keep children on the straight and narrow so it’s great news that this additional Lottery money will extend these play sessions to more families like ours.”
PEEK Project Manager Melodie Crumlin, said: “Play is a fundamental part of childhood and is an end in itself, aside from any longer term benefits for children’s development and society in general. We have introduced the idea of “urban play” by providing free play sessions loosely supervised by Street Play Rangers encouraging and helping to get local youngsters playing positively on the streets, building their confidence, building connections with their families and communities.”