MORE than 300 Torfaen Play Service staff spent an evening celebrating the conclusion of this summer’s playschemes.

Over the summer, more than 4,200 children registered for the playschemes – the Play Service’s busiest year yet.

To celebrate the work of staff and volunteers over the summer, the Play Service held an awards ceremony at Victory Church in Cwmbran.

The awards were hosted by Torfaen Play officers Julian Davenne and Andrea Sysum. Some 187 volunteers and 119 paid workers all received recognition for their outstanding work at sites across Torfaen and neighbouring authorities.

Individual awards were also presented to those who went above and beyond in their roles.

Some of the individual award winners were:

• Best Newcomers: Dan Cox and Jamie Preston

• Best Site Supervisor: Kelly Sutherland

• Personal and Professional Development: Abi Dickens and Macauley Marsh

• Volunteer of the year (The Terry Jones Award): Laura Powell

• Best School Holiday Enrichment Program Site (SHEP): Garnteg Primary

• Best Planned Activity Day: Blenheim Primary, Overmonnow Primary, Garnteg Primary

• Best Blaenau Gwent and Merthyr Tydfil Site: Deighton Playing Fields - Tredegar

• Best Monmouthshire Site: Thornwell Primary Food and Friendship Camp

A fond farewell was also given to Chris Killick who has worked on playschemes for the past 10 years, since volunteering at age 16. Mr Killick recently secured a role with Torfaen Social services.

Between them, Play Service volunteers provided 25,245 hours of volunteering this summer, with each individual completing qualifications in both safeguarding and playwork.

Each volunteer also signed up to the ‘Volunteering Matters’ program, receiving an accreditation in the process.

Free Press Series:

(The Torfaen Play Service awards night in Cwmbran. Picture: Torfaen Play Service)

Executive member for children, families and communities Cllr Mandy Owen said: “Every child has a right to play and this wouldn’t be possible without the hard work play workers and volunteers put in, giving up their time to support children in our communities.

“I am really pleased that the sites have provided free meals and snacks, tackling holiday hunger.

“The playscheme gets better and better year after year, but it wouldn’t be possible without the dedication of our fabulous play team.”

Play Service manager Julian Davenne said: “We have been blown away by the registration figures this summer.

Free Press Series:

(The ‘Best Newcomers’ at the Play Service awards night. Picture: Torfaen Play Service)

“Cwmbran Stadium alone had over 300 children registered. It’s brilliant how partners have come together to support every child’s right to play.

“In addition, we have also worked with partners to provide free food on all playschemes this summer to tackle the concept of holiday hunger.”

Applications for volunteering with Torfaen Playschemes will re-open January 2020, for more information please visit the Torfaen website or call 01495 742951.