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Distributing craft boxes to isolated families

Posted onPosted on 22nd Apr

Boxes full of craft equipment are being handed out to help families in Newark and Sherwood get creative during the Covid-19 lockdown.

Newark and Sherwood Community Hub, also known as Newark Play Forum – which is part-funded by Newark and Sherwood District Council – has been assembling the kits to help isolated families and those on low incomes, entertain their children.

Boxes have also been distributed to several local schools, which are looking after the children of key workers as well as to families who are self-isolating in temporary accommodation for the homeless.

Activities for children feature inside including toy figures, masks and flag-making. There are also crayons, glue, scissors, die cuts, word searches, dot-to-dot books and drawing paper with each box containing enough to entertain two children, aged five to 10 years, for hours.

Coun David Lloyd, leader at the district council, said: “The huge effort from community groups and volunteers during this outbreak has been remarkable. The Hub is working incredibly hard and thinking creatively to ensure that children are given a way to express themselves emotionally through play and craft at this unprecedented time.

“We, as adults, may understand what is happening around us but it must be very strange and often overwhelming for children right now. I would like to thank the Hub and all other community groups and volunteers for their overwhelming support, time and dedication during this pandemic.”

Jill Musson, manager at Newark and Sherwood Community Hub, said: “At this difficult time, children’s routines are disrupted. They can’t see their friends or socialise and are restricted in where they can go. Play is very important for their mental health and wellbeing as well as their imagination. These craft boxes can also help parents who may be struggling to access resources and we felt this was a good way to ‘do our bit’ for our community.”

Newark and Sherwood Community Hub has another 24 boxes for the Home-Start organisation which will be going out this week and a second craft box delivery on will take place on Monday, May 4. This second batch of boxes will include activities to help celebrate 75 years since VE Day.

A number of social media posts have been shared locally about how residents can safely celebrate VE day with ideas including celebrating in your front garden or in your street while maintaining social distancing. This second round of craft boxes is aimed at inspiring children into thinking of ways they can celebrate with their families at home. Parents are also being encouraged to use the VE Day celebrations as an opportunity to develop home learning about subjects such as history, English, art and drama.