The Association of Indoor Play has partnered with the Children’s Alliance, lending its support as an Ambassador to their mission of creating better starts and brighter futures for children in the United Kingdom.
The recently published, third Children's Alliance report on the mental health of children and young people is a sobering and concerning read. With NHS data showing a 90% increase on 2020 figures in the number of children referred for urgent mental health treatment, there is now, more than ever, a demand for 'truly national mental health services covering the full range of need'.
As leisure industry specialists, representing an industry that serves 60 million children yearly, the Association of Indoor Play’s steering committee and network of Operator Member offer invaluable insight into the wellness of the nation’s children in the post-Covid world.
Indoor playcentres are recognised as a cornerstone to children’s social and physical development, provide support with the mental health of parents and children and are stepping-stones in socialisation. There is an existing network of over 1,000 indoor playcentres in the UK, a ready-made solution which can underpin one of the recommendations in the Children's Alliance report.
The industry has hardest hit by the pandemic, with Centres only allowed to open for 12 weeks in total across two years. This was a further blow to children’s mental health affecting their socialisation and key developmental skills.
AIP supports the Children's Alliance Petition calling for a Cabinet Minister for Children and Young People who has an overarching responsibility for focusing the Government’s decisions towards the health and wellbeing of the nation’s children; they are the future of this country.
The Children’s Alliance began as an initiative by Water Babies to broaden politicians’ awareness of the health and wellbeing issues currently facing children in the UK and a push to create a ministerial position dedicated to the health and wellbeing of children. Stemming from that has grown an acknowledgement that we are all responsible for creating a better, brighter future for new generations. Their purpose is to provide support for local Community projects which support the Under 5 age group particularly through play, physical activity and the opportunity to be imaginative.
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