Project to support some of the youngest in Angus

JUST PLAY: Delegates at the Just Play conference in Brechin.

JUST PLAY: Delegates at the Just Play conference in Brechin.

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A PROJECT to support some of the youngest children in Angus is set to be extended.

The Just Play project is a three year pilot partnership lead jointly by both 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 a premises in Arbroath.

Ill-gotten gains from criminals are reinvested back into the community by the Cashback for Communities and go towards or good causes to build better, safer and healthier communities.

The project has a major emphasis on play activity for children up to the age of 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 of their children’s lives. The play activities have been proven to reduce the likelihood of young people becoming involved in antisocial behaving and offending later on in life.

The service has been operational in Arbroath since January, and plans are now in place to develop it in other areas of Angus including Forfar, Kirriemuir, Brechin and Montrose.

To share experiences and contribute to the development of the initiative across Angus, children’s services staff from the public, private and voluntary sector met on Wednesday, November 14.

At the event in Brechin, key information and learning was shared between partners, along with a broad discussion on the early years work and opportunities to enhance joint working in this area.