A property management company has helped set up the first national Armed Forces Playday, helping children across the country including in an Anglesey village.
Annington Homes, which owns the married quarters housing connected to RAF Valley in Caergeiliog, partnered with the Armed Forces and Playing Out, a resident-led movement restoring children’s freedom to ‘play out’ in the areas where they live, to run this initiative.
The event, which took place on Wednesday, August 4, is an offshoot from the annual Playday, a campaign highlighting the importance of play in children’s lives and celebrates children’s right to play.
Research by Playday, the national day for play which was also held on August 4 this year, revealed that just 21 per cent of children play outside regularly,
The Forces Playday aimed to encourage children from service families to rediscover the joy of playing outside, and to reconnect military communities, increase wellbeing, and boost morale among ‘Forces families’.
The campaign benefited 8,500 youngsters at more than 70 Army, Navy and RAF bases across the UK, including Caergeiliog.
Annington’s sponsorship of the project allowed every military base to purchase equipment and traditional toys such as skipping ropes and chalks, as well as providing training from Playing Out for military personnel supervising the play sessions.
Annington also provided specially printed ‘road closed’ signs manufactured by the Royal British Legion Industries’ (RBLI) social enterprise, ‘Britain’s Bravest Manufacturing Company’.
All equipment will be retained by the bases, so further supervised play sessions can be run throughout the summer holidays.
Jane Harsham, corporate responsibility manager at Annington, said: “The Armed Forces have been the unsung heroes of the past year and their children have played their part too, with thousands having dealt with greater periods of parental absence.
“Sponsoring the first national Forces Playday and providing military communities with the opportunity to reconnect through the celebration of children’s outdoor play has provided important relief at this time.
“We hope everyone has a great summer.”
Alice Ferguson, co-director at Playing Out, added: “I would like to thank Annington on behalf of Playing Out and all the military children that are benefiting from play streets this summer.
“Playing outside and being part of your community is an essential part of a happy, healthy childhood and it’s fantastic that Annington and the Armed Forces are supporting this to happen.”