PLAYWORKERS and volunteers have provided play and wellbeing sessions for vulnerable children across Torfaen during the half term holidays.

More than 170 children took part in an action-packed week of activities including nature trails, team games, dance, sport and reflective circle time.

Children also took part in the ‘daily mile’.

The play and wellbeing camps were held at Blaenavon Heritage School, George Street Primary, Nant Celyn Primary, Garnteg Primary, Blenheim Community Primary and Llantarnam Community Primary.

There were also play and respite sessions at Glenside Community Centre and the Cockerel Community Centre.

All the children who attended were put forward by headteachers and Torfaen Council’s social care staff and inclusion team and centred on the “five ways to wellbeing” which encourage children to Connect, Give, Take Notice, Keep Learning and Be Active.

Julian Davenne, Torfaen Play Service manager, said: “More than 70 staff and volunteers have helped to set up and deliver the play and wellbeing camps this half-term.

“It’s been great to see so many volunteers getting involved, especially as it’s Volunteers Week. We’re grateful for all our volunteers and their continued commitment.”

Councillor Fiona Cross, executive member for children, families and communities, said: “These events provide a valuable service for vulnerable children and those with disabilities within our communities and their families.

“They are also great fun. But they could not happen without the dedication of our Play Service staff and volunteers.

“I’d like to thank them for the work they have done this week, and all throughout the year.”

The Play Service provides volunteering opportunities to help deliver play sessions across the borough.

All volunteers complete in-depth training for working with children and young people and all are in receipt of a DBS. Further to this, all volunteers are supported to obtain two accredited qualifications.

In 2019, play workers collated more than 48,000 hours of volunteering between them.

16-year-old volunteer Ellie Roach, said: “I made the decision to volunteer at well-being camp because it is a great way to gain experience working in a school combined with play environment for children.

“I gained many key skills including experience working in a team, work related to wellbeing for children and the importance of play in child-led development.

“It’s a great way to be part of your community.”

Riana Williams, 59, said: “I get a lot of satisfaction out of volunteering with the Torfaen Play Service.

“Volunteering gave me a way to slowly get back into the work environment after a few years out, I loved working with children and volunteering gave me the tools needed to thrive.

“Since volunteering I have since gained a paid position within the workplace.”

For more information on volunteering with the play service, email