Learning skills for life this summer

Suzanne Wight, Community Champion, shows Christopher James, eight, how to peel an onion. All pictures by Steven Brown Photography.

Suzanne Wight, Community Champion, shows Christopher James, eight, how to peel an onion. All pictures by Steven Brown Photography.

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A summer programme aimed at giving parents and kids the tools they need to enjoy play at home has once again enjoyed fantastic success.

The twice-weekly summer sessions, held at the Savoy Sports Centre in Methil, proved very popular, with hundreds of parents and children attending every week.

Demi-Lee Adams (11) and Robbie Little (six) make cakes

Demi-Lee Adams (11) and Robbie Little (six) make cakes

The programme is funded by Family and Community Support Team - with extra funding from Community Based Adult Learning (CBAL) - working in partnership with The Gateway, Homestart Levenmouth and Woodlands Nursery.

Many groups have also been involved in activites, with visiting staff from Child Smile, Scottish Fire and Rescue, Animal Man mini zoo, CLEAR Buckhaven and Play Bus.

Speaking to the Mail at the final session last Thursday, Carol Hunter, family worker, said: “The aim is to give parents and kids a place to come for free during the summer where they can learn to play together and they can then take that home.”

Carol explained that all the activities, whether it’s making home-made playdough, facepainting, nail painting, jewellery making or baking, the team make sure that everything is easy and affordable, with all of the equipment readily available in nearby shops.

Billy Braid (four) from Glenrothes has a ninja turtle painted on his face. The parents are encouraged to do the face art themselves from stencils.

Billy Braid (four) from Glenrothes has a ninja turtle painted on his face. The parents are encouraged to do the face art themselves from stencils.

Since starting in the second week of the school holidays, around 70 - 120 parents and children have attended each session. For many parents, it allows them to engage with their children in a range of activites, while also accessing a wide variety of local services.

“We had Child Smile along, so parents were able to get tips on teeth cleaning, as well as getting their child signed up to a dentist. We also had the fire service, so while the kids got to play on the fire engines, the staff were were able to promote the home fire safety visits to the parents as well.”

And as well as healthy snacks delivered by Sainsbury’s, the team has provided funding for two parents to become Community Champions, and they have worked each week to make and provide healthy food for families.

Kim Morrison, from Methil, attended the sessions for a few weeks with her kids and said: “It’s really good for the kids and they love it. My friend and I actually found out about it from a neighbour of ours who is a child minder, and we would definitely come back.”

Katie Robertson (six) from Methil makes a smoothie by cycling on the CLEAR smoothie bike.

Katie Robertson (six) from Methil makes a smoothie by cycling on the CLEAR smoothie bike.

Claire Adams, who attended with her six-year-old and 11-year-old, added: “The kids like to try a bit of everything because there’s a really good range of stuff for them to do.”

As well as a summer programme, similar events took place last year and in the Easter break, with plans to continue the sessions in October.

Natalie Horner, who has three children, returned this summer after attending a previous event, and said: “It’s been good to come here as the weather hasn’t been that good. Some of the things, like the man who visited with the animals, we would never have been able to do that otherwise, so that’s really good.”

Emilee Robertson (eight), Katy Morrisson (four), Kassidy Auras (eight) and Kelsey Vanbeck (10) all learn dance moves with Lynne Sharp of On The Run Dance Productions

Emilee Robertson (eight), Katy Morrisson (four), Kassidy Auras (eight) and Kelsey Vanbeck (10) all learn dance moves with Lynne Sharp of On The Run Dance Productions

Isla Ogg (seven) has a Butterfly painted of her face

Isla Ogg (seven) has a Butterfly painted of her face