Successful Summer of Play worth shouting about 

03 November 2015 


At a time where spending cuts and austerity measures seem to dominate the headlines and council bosses agonise over the delivery of frontline services, on ever decreasing budgets, good news seems to be thin on the ground.   


Here, Rob Thomas, Managing Director of the Vale of Glamorgan Council is keen to share some good news that deserves to see the light.

Play scheme at Vale Show 2014

When the Summer of Play report landed on my desk this week, capturing hundreds of events involving thousands of children across the Vale of Glamorgan over the summer holidays I thought to myself, ‘this is a story that needs to be



Like most authorities across Wales and the UK for that matter, the Vale of Glamorgan Council has had to make some difficult decisions and look again at the way it delivers public services.
When budget meetings and discussions are the order of the day, it’s easy to lose sight of all the good things that we continue to deliver which impact positively on people’s lives – too easy or too busy perhaps.  But back to the Summer of Play report.  

We all look forward to a break during the summer and some time to spend with our families.  But unless you work for a very generous boss, there’s inevitably a bit of juggling to be done in terms of child care and finding activities for the children over school holidays which stretch for six weeks.  With this in  mind, the Vale of Glamorgan Council, with the support of our partners - Dinas Powys Community Council, Wick Community Council, Barry Town Council, Penarth Town Council, Llantwit Major Town Council, United Welsh Housing, Communities First and Section 106 Funding - set about to organise a marathon of activities that would appeal to and cater for children across the Vale.  The results speak for themselves.


Over 1,895 children between the ages of 4 and 11 took part in over 32 play scheme sessions in 5 different venues across the Vale of Glamorgan Council.  Our Play Development Team linked 42 children with a disability to 413 play schemes tailored to meet their needs. This was made possible by Family First Funding and included 1 to 1 support, buddy support, provision of specialist equipment, transport and a nurse on site for young children with complex medical needs.


Our Seven Family Fun Days attracted over 2,000 people and our sport coaches delivered play scheme sessions and football coaching at local parks. I could wax lyrical about many other activities of which there are unfortunately far too much to mention here.


No one could have envisaged such a fantastic response to this initiative but its success was down to team work, the enthusiasm of all those involved, dedication and hard work.  Another example of this was the Murchfield Play scheme where United Welsh Housing worked in with our Play Development Team to create a ‘walking bus’, which allowed 15 children to safely access the Murchfield scheme.


I hope that readers will join me in celebrating some good news and a story worth shouting about.

Through the use of a Play Table and Helpful book, a bespoke family focussed service was delivered to enable families the flexibility of choice to meet their needs, enabling them to select the play sessions they wanted to attend.