Posted on: Wednesday 30 August 2023
A record number of volunteers have help to provide hours of free fun to thousands of children this summer.
A total of 163 volunteers - five per cent more than last year - have worked with 176 Play Service staff to provide a month-long programme of fun activities to 2,831 children - 300 more than last year.
On Friday, staff and volunteers were thanked at an awards ceremony at the Congress Theatre, in Cwmbran, including Max Griffiths, who won the Long Term Achievement Award after volunteering and working for the Play Service for the past 10 years.
He said: "I started volunteering with the Play Service when I was 15 and it's been absolutely amazing.
"Since then I've climbed the ranks working as a play worker then a site supervisor and its led me to start training to be a primary school teacher. I don't think any of that would have been possible without the Torfaen Play Service.
"If you are thinking becoming a young volunteer I would highly recommend the Play Service because it's changed my life."
More than 20 play sessions were held daily across the borough this month, as part of this year's Play Service Summer Fun Fest.
They included open access play schemes, specialist respite sessions and 13 Food and Fun camps, run in partnership with Torfaen Council's Catering Service who served up around 28,000 meals during the four weeks.
The service also arranged a week of training sessions for staff and volunteers, many of whom gained first aid and mental health awareness training certificates.
Councillor Richard Clark, Executive Member for Children, Families and Education, said: "The Play Service has provided more than two thousands hours of free fun this summer which is an incredible achievement.
"We cannot under-estimate the work that goes into recruiting, organising and holding these sessions and I thank all the staff and volunteers who have run this year's Summer Fun Fest, as well as the children and families who have supported it.
"The work the Play Service does supports the council's County Plan wellbeing objectives to support children and young people to gain skills and thrive."
Julian Davenne, Play Service manager, added: "The Play Service is like a family and we were really pleased to see 40 volunteers returning to us this summer. We couldn't do it without them and we will start recruiting in January for next summer."
"We also couldn't run the number of sessions we do without our partners, including including the catering team, Togs, community councils, the nursing team and schools so thank you to them as well."
Find out more about volunteering opportunities with the Play Service on our website or following the team on Facebook and Twitter. Recruitment for volunteers for next summer will start in January.
Play Service gives hundreds of food boxes