UKSE funding helps deliver outdoor play area for Ayrshire centre

Marianne Greenway and Scott Webb

AN Ayrshire centre which provides specialist services for children with additional support needs is adding an outdoor play area thanks to funding from UKSE

Ayrshire Childrens Services CIC (ACS) is installing the playground at its Ko-nekt skills and play centre in Ayr after receiving a grant of £2,500 from UKSE, a subsidiary of Tata Steel. The money will be used to acquire materials that make the outdoor area safe and secure while the centre continues to fundraise for new equipment and toys.

More than 80 people aged 3-18 access the facility, which provides supported activities including baking, arts and crafts, and outside play, to help youngsters gain confidence and learn skills. Bringing children together also encourages social interaction and helps establish friendships.

Marianne Greenway, from ACS, said, “The money we received from UKSE is a big step towards getting our outdoor area up and running for the better weather. We are a lifeline for many families, who are looking for extra support for their young ones.

“Outdoor play is crucial to all children’s development but is especially important for young people with additional support needs. Being able to climb and explore is great for helping with fine motor skills, balance and spatial awareness.

“Now that we have funding to buy essentials such as matting and Astroturf that will make our outdoor space child-friendly we can plan for growing and expanding our play area to include new equipment and other activities such as messy play with chalk and planting.”

The grant is the second awarded to Ayrshire Children Services. In 2018, UKSE funded an outdoor sensory playroom at its Ardrossan Ko-nekt centre.

Scott Webb, UKSE regional manager, added, “We’re proud to support Ayrshire Children Services and the award-winning specialist work it does for children with additional support needs. The outdoor play area will benefit the children who use its Ayr centre in a range of ways and we look forward to seeing it grow and expand in the months and years to come.”