What is the social/environmental problem/issue that this project will address?
The London Borough Newham (LBN) is consistently one of the most deprived boroughs in the UK. There are huge levels of poverty, single parent families, over-crowded housing and families with complex needs. There is very little affordable childcare available which further compounds these problems (parents can’t go out to work – don’t get any respite from their living situations)
Can you give us some statistics on this problem?
The London Borough of Newham, in which this project is based, suffers from incredible deprivation.
• It has been evaluated as the 11th most deprived borough nationally and the 4th most deprived borough within London.
• It consistently has the lowest life expectancy of any London borough and its death rate for avoidable causes of death 1998-2000 was 73% higher than the national average; ranking 1st for both London and England.
• Life expectancy in Newham is ten years lower than in Kensington
• The area of Manor Park consists of many low-income families in overcrowded terraces and high-rise accommodation.
• Over 60% of people who live here are form Minority Ethnic Communities (MECs)
• There are over 142 first languages spoken in the borough
• Newham is an unusually young borough and over 40% of its inhabitants are aged under 25.
• It has exceptionally high rates of crime, unemployment and single parent families.
What is your solution?
We want to provide high quality, affordable, respite care for local parents. We will do this by offering a range of overnight care events, throughout the year, offering local parents the opportunity to have a night off. This can be invaluable for those on low-income or single parent households who rarely get a chance for time off or to take time for themselves. By offering these events as fun-filled and exciting sleepovers in our (Ofsted registered) community centre, it makes it extremely fun for the children. This will be offered at no cost and will be inclusive so that children from all backgrounds, religions and abilities.
How will you deliver this?
We will fill the centre with fun arts and crafts, sports, cooking and games activities and, if funding allows, take the children on an exciting evening trip out. 50 children will arrive at our centre at 6.00pm, each with an overnight bag which they will set up in the rooms designated for sleeping in. they will then come downstairs and select the activities that they want to start the evening doing. The event will be staff at a ratio of 7 children to one qualified play-worker from our expert children’s work team (one-to-one where children with more complex needs are involved). Throughout the evening there will be a wide range of games and activities to take part in from spooky storytelling to fun with inflatable’s and, where we have sufficient funding will take the children out on a trip before returning to the centre. The children themselves can choose when (or if!) they go to sleep but will be supervised at all times. We will provide a healthy nutritious breakfast in the morning and the children will be picked up at 10am the following morning by their parents/carers. The project will give children the opportunity to participate in safe, secure and stimulating 'sleepover' play activities, allowing them to experience the joy of overnight play, an opportunity which they would ordinarily not have access to.