Not Just Child’s Play – Play Therapy


We all know that provision for children and for parents has seen deep cuts – and that over 400 children’s  SureStart centres up and down the country have closed down.

This is a real shame, given the effect that space for children to play, and support for children early on in life has on narrowing the gap for children with disabilities and children from low income families. I see this daily – many local residents tell me that what they see very little of is support for parents and children – and for families that are facing a real pressure in light of reduced real income, to balance work, life and the difficult but rewarding task of raising a young family.

That’s why ensuring that there is emotional and social support for children is particularly important, as is raising awareness of the need for mental health support as well as physical health support for children as well as adults, and why I’m really pleased  to support local counselling support charity Rephael House – which provides assistance across North London – including Barnet, Brent and Harrow and their fundraising drive for a play therapy room renovation.

Chief Executive of the charity Anesta Edge had this to say about the importance of play therapy;

Our play room offers some of them an opportunity to get back to play    and begin to understand emotions that they are unable to express in  words. This is why it is important for us to have a fully functional, inclusive space for them to use and explore in. We want our kids to be kids and explore all aspects of childhood and the challenges they face.

Couldn’t have put it better myself.

They’re using some newfangled platform called SpaceHive to do this – which is the world’s first crowdfunding platform for civic projects.  That means you can pledge whatever you’d like to contribute to this very worthwhile cause – and you can do it now.

They need 100 people to pledge a tenner (or whatever you can afford). Why not join me?

It’s not just child’s play – it’s so much more than that.


Asking for SafeRoads: Because Cats Have Nine Lives; Our Kids – Only One


The first 20 mph zones were opened in Norwich, Kingston-upon-Thames and Sheffield in January 1991 to address the problem of child pedestrian casualties in and around residential areas. In a study of the impacts of 250 such zones, carried out by the Transport Research Laboratory (TRL) in 1996, it was found that:

  • Average speeds had fallen by nine miles per hour;
  • The annual total of accidents had fallen by 60%;
  • The number of accidents involving children had fallen by 67%; and
  • The number of incidents involving cyclists had fallen by 29%.

It’s been drawn to my attention as school governor of Hollickwood Primary School that there have been a number of road accidents involving young children as cars drive around fast through residential roads used as cut-throughs. You’ll also be supporting the parents of children at Coldfall  and Coppetts Wood primary schools, who have been campaigning for this to happen in their WalkSafeN10 campaign.

Remember, cats have nine lives but our kids have only one.

That’s why you should sign my petition for safer roads for everyone, including our children.