Just Play scheme underway in Angus

AGENCIES across Angus are working together on a project to support some of the county’s youngest children. The Just Play project is a three year pilot partnership led jointly by Angus Council and Tayside Police.

The initiative received funding of £350,000 from the Scottish Government’s CashBack for Communities programme –which uses funds recovered from the proceeds of crime – and operates from premises in Arbroath. The project has a major emphasis on play activity for children up to three years old, and targets families and young children who live in deprived or vulnerable situations.

The project encourages families to focus on purposeful play activities in the early years, which have been proven to reduce the likelihood of young people becoming involved in antisocial behaving and offending later in life. Welcoming the progress of Just Play in Angus, Education convener Sheena Welsh said: “This innovative project is attracting national attention, and positive feedback from families and partner agencies.

“We are well aware of the importance of play in the very early years of a child’s development, and this initiative is providing families with the skills and confidence to be able to interact fully with their toddlers using games and activities. It complements and builds on existing work within Angus, and will ultimately bring benefits to our communities by encouraging young people to make positive life decisions.”

An update on the project to the council’s Education Committee revealed that eight families are currently being supported through Just Play.