National win for Dudley adventure centre
A Dudley adventure centre has been chosen as the best in the country, in a national awards scheme.
Dudley Council-run Sycamore Adventure centre, at Old Park Farm, has won the Outstanding Playwork Provision category of the hotly contested Playwork Awards.
The awards recognise the importance of providing quality play opportunities for children and identifies people and organisations that have made a difference to the lives of those that they work with.
The team at the celebrated Dudley facility, which has now racked up nine awards, includes 25 qualified members of staff and volunteers who are dedicated to providing fun and enhancing ways of playing that are tailored for children of all abilities and disabilities.
Sycamore Adventure, which opened in 2010, provides free, all-inclusive indoor and outdoor play facilities and support for up to 1,000 children per month.
The centre boasts a desert island complete with boat, hammocks and a palm tree, a carved wooden dragon where children can enjoy storytelling sessions, an indoor play barn, cantilever swing, a mini waterfall and go-karts.
Staff and volunteers are committed to opening up play opportunities to as many children as possible in the borough. In addition to the facilities and sessions offered at Sycamore Adventure, the team takes play into parks in the summer holidays. They run Dudley Play Week, when thousands of children come to play in sessions structured by the team in local parks and green spaces.
Councillor Tim Crumpton, cabinet member for children’s services, said:
“I am really proud that Dudley is leading innovative play provision and I’m delighted that it is increasingly achieving national recognition.
“Congratulations to the fantastic staff and volunteers at Sycamore Adventure.”
Alexandra Crockett, parent who uses Sycamore said:
“I was delighted to hear that Sycamore Adventure has won the National Outstanding Play Provision Award - it is so well deserved!
“My children have been attending the centre since it opened, and over the years the facilities have developed to always meet their needs, keep them stimulated and having fun.
“My daughter Alana, 8, has Autism and has particularly benefitted from using the centre. Keith and the team have got to know her really well over the years, and all have the knowledge and experience to handle her needs. Families with a special needs child often struggle to find places to go for leisure, and we can always be sure of a warm welcome at Sycamore Adventure.
“Alana has recently started to attend the additional needs sessions, where she stays at the centre for two hours a week, without a family member. This is a real development in her independence, and is only possible because the staff there have made such an effort to get to know her.
“I would recommend Sycamore Adventure for all families, particularly those with a special needs child.”
To find out more about Sycamore Adventure visit www.sycamoreadventure.co.uk and follow the facility on www.facebook.com/DudleyBorough and on Twitter at #SycamoreAdventure