Play sessions run by a housing association have been such a big hit with children that they’re being extended beyond the summer.
The programme organised by Cartrefi Conwy will now continue after school during term time once the summer holiday ends.
It has also provided jobs for two young people, whose employment is funded via the government’s Kickstart scheme.
Cartrefi Conwy Community Engagement Co-Ordinator Megan Eldon said eight 90 minutes fun activity sessions a week are held across Conwy.
She said they were grateful for the support of Conwy Borough Council’s Play Development Team.
Among the sites where the weekly play sessions are held is Chester Avenue community park in Kinmel Bay where Megan said: “There’s about 10 to 15 primary school age children turn up regularly here each week.
“They’re usually already at the park waiting for us when we arrive in our van and they eagerly help get the equipment set up.
“It’s so encouraging for us to get such positive feedback and to know our efforts are appreciated.”
Among those visiting the Chester Avenue play sessions was Ysgol Maes Owen pupil, Lexi Williams, aged nine, who said: “It’s been so much fun.
“There’s been lots to do, from sack races and egg and spoon races to crafts and obstacles courses. I love it.”
Friends and neighbours Leland Woodbridge and Kyla Green, both aged seven, said they also had the best of times.
Leland said: “It’s brilliant to have something like this to do with our friends. We’ve done colouring, and running, and building with pretend bricks.”
Megan added: “The response we have had from both children and adults to this year’s summer holiday play sessions have been so positive that we have realised it is a valuable provision at any time of the year and a decision has been made to continue activities beyond the holidays. We will carry on offering a weekly programme after school during term time.”
The news was welcomed by Chester Avenue Community House Development Officer Emma Abdelkhalek.
Emma, who helps with the sessions in Kinmel Bay, said: “Sessions like this make such a positive difference to children’s well-being. It’s a real outlet for creative play and socialising in a relaxed, fun way which they all enjoy.
“I live here on the estate at Kinmel Bay and I know firsthand how much the kids enjoy it. Many of them know me or recognise me from when I help out and if they see me in the street or at the shops, they are always asking when is the next play sessions is happening and what time do they need to be there.”
Also helping out have been Ellie Evans of Conwy Play Development Team, and two young co-workers Catrin Owen and John Gill.
Cartrefi Conwy recruited Catrin and John through the government’s Kickstart scheme which helps young people find employment opportunities.
Both have been taken on initially for six months and are gaining valuable experience which could help shape their future careers.
Catrin, 19, said the post was her first since leaving Ysgol Creuddyn, Penrhyn Bay.
She said: “I was so pleased to get this chance. I’ve always wanted to work with children and thanks to this Kickstart opportunity I’ll now be able to include this work on my CV to help me towards my eventual goal of maybe working as a teaching assistant or other kind of youth work.
“It’s such an amazing opportunity for me. I’m loving it and Cartrefi Conwy are a great company to work for, they really invest in staff training, I’m learning so much thanks to them.”