Welcome back, everyone, from the collective long weekend.
I’m happy to share with you all the exciting news that our long-running appeals process with Cardiff Council Business Rates department has been won! After much deliberation – and letters of support written by Councillor Jon Aylwin, AM Eluned Parrott, MP Jenny Willcott, MEP Derek Vaughan, plus visitors and fans like you! – they have given us the full 100% rates relief.
I want to take a moment to thank everyone who helped make the project a wonderful success. It was a beautiful 6 months for all of us, and set a tremendous precedent to show how important projects like this are in bringing free play opportunities right into our city centres.
In case you, like me, find statistics interesting here are some numbers. The funding came from the Cardiff Council Cymorth Small Play Grants program, and the project was delivered in partnership with Re-Create Cardiff and Vale Play Services Association.
We began with £4988.00 and delivered 63 sessions – a total of 441 hours of play (that’s £11.30 per hour of staffed, open access play for all)
Over 1,400 people came – 391 of them under 4, and 410 between 5 and 15
A total of 551 parents and carers came – 189 (or 34%) of them male
A minimum of 15 different nationalities and ethnicities were represented
We were the focus of 1 community arts placement (University of Wales, Newport) and 2 academic papers (UWE Bristol and Leeds Metropolitan)
Our petition had over 400 signatures online and in the shop – 100 in its first 24 hours
We had 8 locally-recruited volunteers, all of whom gained experience in a new branch of community-based playwork practice
We think that counts as a very big hit!
We’d also like to invite you now, you lovely lovely people you, to consider adding your voice as we decide what happens next. We’re recruiting members to our Cardiff Area Steering Group – and you are just what we’re looking for.
You might be a parent or carer who came by the shop. You might be one of the many teenagers who came and drank tea with us on the sofa. You might be a playwork professional interested in helping out with suggestions on fund raising, partnership possibilities, etc.
We’re looking for people who understand what this project is about – bringing free-of-cost, open access play opportunities into our city centres.
If that sounds like you, then email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We know how busy you are, so will try our best to arrange meetings that work for as many people as possible, and come up with ways for you to chime in your opinion online. If you’re interested but aren’t confident about what you have to offer then email me anyway, and we can talk about it.