Playtime – thanks to £110k

More local youngsters will be encouraged to play outdoors.

More local youngsters will be encouraged to play outdoors.

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Local youngsters will be jumping for joy in the great outdoors thanks to a Big Lottery boost of more than £110,000 for a Dalkeith play project.

Out2Play encourages children and young people to get outside by organising outdoor play sessions – from den-building to junk obstacle courses – and has been running two sessions a week at Woodburn Road.

The new funding will allow it to expand into Mayfield and Gorebridge next year.

Susan McIntyre, development manager for Midlothian Association of Play (MAP), said: “We are over the moon about this funding, as we’re going to be able to reach even more children and their families.

“Children playing outside brings so much energy and life into public spaces, and helps build friendships and community connections.

“It’s such an important part of childhood but sometimes you need to give just that little extra input to help get it going.”

Maureen McGinn, Big Lottery Fund Scotland chairman, said: “The project will make a huge difference to the lives of local children, allowing them to enjoy outdoor play activities that will lead to a more active and healthier lifestyle.

“I wish the organisation every success as it goes on to develop and expand its project for the benefit of local families and volunteers.”

Colin Beattie, MSP for Midlothian North and Musselburgh, on Friday submitted a motion to the Scottish Parliament congratulating MAP on its award of £110,432.

Out2Play’s activities include sharing play ideas, a monthly dads’ group, open-access park sessions, holiday play activities and researching disabled children’s access to play.