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Pirates sail into Gwalia communities to play

Pirates sail into Gwalia communities to play

Pirate ship Playful pirates helped six Gwalia communities come together during the summer holidays.

Our Community Development and Neighbourhood Housing Officers sailed into six communities on a Pirate Ship during the summer holidays to develop play opportunities for the benefit of our customers.

As part of the Gwalia funded Playful Communities initiative, Play Right’s pirate ship playscheme aims to break down barriers preventing play opportunities.  Working across Neath Port Talbot, Swansea, Powys and Carmarthenshire, the organisation provides opportunities to improve community relationships, reduces anti-social behaviour and encourages mutual respect between neighbours. 

Community Development Officer Amanda Roberts said the events highlighted the importance of play in a child’s development, as well as the community benefits.

She said: "All our communities are unique but the reaction to the pirate ship and activities on the whole was extremely positive. Everyone had a common purpose for being at the events. It brought people together who had never interacted before. Throughout the six weeks summer holidays 27 parents and carers signed up for training and volunteering to provide sustainable play opportunities for children and young people in their area."

Becky Cole, Director of Play Right, said Gwalia are pioneering the importance of children's play among Housing Associations in Wales.

She said: "Their continued commitment to improve family life, support childhood development and to build community relationships is to be commended. Even a short intervention of only five days has seen big improvements in the quality of life for some Gwalia customers.

"Parents are more comfortable to let their children outdoors to play, and older residents feel less concerned because they know that the children are not up-to mischief."

Director of Housing and Support Andrew Vye said Gwalia’s Community Development Officers aim to leave a lasting legacy once the ship has set sail for a new community.

"We have taken a look at the research which supports the benefits play has for children, families and the wider community," he said. "What is evident from the Playful Communities initiative is that the community spirit is evident in so many of our neighbourhoods

"To see so many parents and carers sign up for advice, mentoring and training to provide further play opportunities was really pleasing. Gwalia are committed to providing clean, safe and friendly communities for all of our tenants and Playful Communities is just one initiative which supports our vision."

For more information about training and volunteering opportunities please contact Becky Cole at Play Right on 01792 448484.