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Junior Minister gets serious about play

14 November, 2007

Sinn Féin Junior Minister Gerry Kelly today emphasised his commitment to children's play following a presentation from Playboard on their new innovative play scheme, 'Reclaiming Playspace'.

The 'Reclaiming Playspace' project is based around a concept of mobile play, involving a travelling 'Play Ranger' team who visit the pilot area twice a week. The team aim to increase the opportunities 5-12 year olds have to play by providing play equipment and an outdoor structured play service.

Speaking following the presentation Mr Kelly said:

"Play is a simple but crucial part of a child's development benefiting their physical and mental health, as well as encouraging social skills.

"Every child must be afforded the opportunity to play safely and enjoy their childhood irrespective of their circumstances. Each and every child deserves the best possible start in life.

"Prioritising the rights of children and young people and addressing their needs are key issues that the Executive is working to address. I and my colleagues are sincere about making positive changes for children and young people."

Note to Editors

The 'Reclaiming Playspace' project is currently being piloted in four areas in North Belfast.

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