National Play Day 2020 took place on Saturday, July 4th with the theme of Playful Communities, Playful Homes. Cork County Council, through its Library and Arts Services, brought National Play Day to Direct Provision centres throughout the county.

The aim of National Play Day is to promote play opportunities for children all across the country. Cork County Council was successful in its application for funding of €2,000 from Department of Children and Youth Affairs and further supplemented this funding with almost €1,000 from the Council’s Library Service’s inclusion budget. This National Play Day funding was used to create fun packs for children in Direct Provision Centres which included toys, games, hula hoops, skipping ropes, a multitude of art materials, drums, ukuleles, basketballs, GAA balls, soft balls, rugby balls and more.

Cork County Council had previously provided literacy and art packs to centres during the Covid 19 restrictions and drew on their established connections with social and support workers to ensure that children in Direct Provision were not left behind for National Play Day. This initiative was built on the success of previous partnerships which extended the Rural Outreach service via the Council’s Mobile Library to Ashbourne and Drishane centres as well as organising visits to Clonakilty, Macroom and Mallow branch libraries.

Mayor of the County of Cork Cllr. Mary Linehan Foley said:

“We in Cork County Council are committed to equality and inclusivity and are delighted to provide toys and games for children in Direct Provision and Accommodation Centres. National Play Day is an important day for children and gives us all the chance to reflect on how important play is to our development. It is important that all members of our society have the opportunity to participate.”

Chief Executive of Cork County Council Tim Lucey added:

“Cork County Council’s Library and Arts Services play a vital role in our communities, delivering services and resources essential to the social development of children and adults alike. The decision to ensure that children in Direct Provision could partake in National Play Day reflects the immeasurable value of the work the Council carries out through its library services, for individuals, families and communities throughout the county”.

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