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Doctors call for children to have ‘best summer ever’

25-06-2020

In a letter to the Education Minister, Kirsty Williams, a group of doctors are calling for ‘Immediate funding for community organisations and local authorities to run 30 hours/week of age-specific summer holiday activity for every child through July and August 2020 – let’s give children their “Best Summer Ever”’. The doctors are asking governments to ‘rescue childhood’ by prioritising social isolation changes that have an impact on children’s physical and mental well-being.

The signatories are also asking for a guarantee that all children will be schooled full-time by the Autumn and for social distancing regulations for children in primary and secondary schools to be reviewed.

The letter has been signed by 260 consultants and paediatricians across the UK – 18 of which are in Wales.

Play Wales says:

‘We agree with the doctors when they say children have been seriously affected and disadvantaged by the social distancing measures. Children have been deprived of a normal life of playing and socialising with friends. Growing up in adverse circumstances can have a significant impact on children’s physical and mental development. 

The summer holiday is normally a time when children report having more time to play. A recent small-scale survey indicates that the majority of open access play providers in Wales, where possible, are ready and willing to adapt their playwork practice to meet the challenges and are identifying ways to provide for play during the summer holidays and into the future. 

Many children have had time to play outside with family members during lockdown restrictions. As these begin to be eased, we hope that children regain the freedom to play out and socialise with friends, because they have reported that playing with friends is what they miss most.’

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