Photo credit: Tommy Clucas Memorial Fund web
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An Island charity which provides opportunities for children to play outside has received vital funding for a new project.

The support of the Manx Lottery Trust will allow Isle of Play to run an adventure playground pilot scheme for the next 12 months.

The charity was founded in 2018 by two playworkers who will work closely with primary schools and the local community to offer fun activities and stimulating play to children across the Isle of Man.

Chris Gregory, Chief Executive of Isle of Play, said: ‘Our quest is to get more kids outside as we firmly believe every child should be able to access great play opportunities in their local areas, especially as some children never have the opportunity to play out in the way previous generations did.

‘Members of the public, local companies and trusts have been so kind since we set up and can see we are striving to deliver inclusive services to the Island’s children, regardless of their circumstances.

‘As a small and fairly new charity, Manx Lottery Trust’s generous contribution will further help us achieve this goal and our venture can start making a real difference.’

‘We would like to say a huge thank you to Manx Lottery Trust for this grant, as well as our long-term supporters Douglas Borough Council and Hills Ward Community Council who have assisted us from the beginning.’

The grant from the Trust of £25,000 will help cover set-up costs, equipment, staff costs and transportation for the playground project situated between Pulrose and Anagh Coar.

Lester’s Yard will be sited on land leased from Douglas Council and is described as a child-led space where children can run free, build dens, use tools, grow and cook food, learn cooking skills and play freely. The facility will be open between 16:15 and 18:00 each evening.

It will be staffed by two Isle of Play workers and supported by volunteers and apprentices, with facilities on site including a log cabin, car parking and toilets.

Manx Lottery Trust Chairman Sarah Kelly said: ‘It’s clear from speaking to Chris and the team that Isle of Play can have a positive impact on children’s physical development and their social and emotional well-being.

‘Lester’s Yard will encourage young people to go back to the roots of childhood, allowing them to engage their imaginations, make rope swings, use tools to build their own dens and develop new friendships. We are impressed by their determination to help promote healthy and positive lifestyles.’

The soon-to-be adventure playground will also be free to access.


Isle of Play encourages children to enjoy the simple joy of playing outside2