Trinity House Community Resource Centre are a fantastic charity, based in Rusholme, who support local families & children in the Rusholme, Fallowfield & Moss Side areas by providing a range of service, including affordable playgroups, after school & youth clubs, and activities for older & socially isolated people.

They’re an important part of the local community’s VCSE (voluntary, community and social enterprise) environment by working in partnership with other local organisations and community groups, ad-hoc room hire for local events, meetings, training and even parties! They have a vision for Trinity House to be “the first place that local people think of when looking for help, advice, training, activities and support”, and as such we were happy to fund them in one of their latest schemes: ‘Trinity House Toy Hub’.

Trinity House planned to create a toy library as a resource for local families, where children aged between two and four and their families or carers can go borrow toys, games and books and bring them home for play and learning. They say this is needed as the majority of pre-schooling age children in their area have been unable to attend nurseries etc during the Coronavirus crisis, and parents and educators are concerned that children have fallen behind in their development & learning. With Manchester being the 6th most deprived Local Authority in the country, a report conducted by the Child Poverty Action Group & The Church of England in August 2020 indicated that child’s mental health in low income families is being particularly affected by the effects of the pandemic also, especially with so many months spent at home.The toy library will have resources to support play and learning in the Early Years Curriculum, also offering additional play resources and books that support children’s personal, social and emotional development and help parents to support children’s resilience and recovery after the lockdown. They feel playing with toys and games will help children to develop relationships, support their creativity and help them to use language, think and solve problems as well as developing, fine and gross motor control in a fun and playful way. Their aim will be to support their play and development, recovery, resilience and wellbeing during the next 12 months of the Coronavirus crisis – starting from October 2020, running til Autumn 2021.

Children aged between 2 and 4 who normally attend preschools and nurseries in Rusholme and Fallowfield and their families will be the focus of the project. Trinity House are connecting with children from the local Birch Community Centre pre-school and the Stay and Play at Holy Trinity Platt Church, which they expect will introduce 80 families to the scheme. It will be ran by an Early Years Professional who has worked with local families for over 25 years, particularly focussing on supporting children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). They have put together a wellbeing and learning pack containing care items to support children to be healthy (dental care items, sun cream, hand gel, shampoo plus books, crayons and activities) which were delivered on socially distanced visits to each family prior to the most recent Greater Manchester lockdown.

The funding Trinity House received from our Stronger Communities Fund has gone towards 3 months sessional costs of an Early Years Professional, resources for them to use within the scheme, and sessional room hire. The funding of this project perfectly supports one of our four themes we hope to support and allow to flourish in Manchester through our Stronger Communities Fund: ‘Helping In The Early Years’ – supporting children 0-4 years old, and their parents, to make the best start possible in terms of learning, health and/or nutrition.

We’ve been so proud to support Trinity House in initiating this scheme, and the children of the M14 areas of Manchester – we’ve even got some fantastic pictures back from them below!

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