Supporting each other through the pandemic
As we are all acutely aware, the Covid-19 pandemic has had a hugely detrimental impact on children’s access to play. All play areas have been closed, some long term and some thankfully for only short periods of time. Children have been denied the opportunities to socialise with their friends and peers.
We know that play is fundamental to a child’s learning and development. Play is how children make sense of the world. It helps them express their feelings, manage emotions and find out about themselves and others.
“Healthy, happy children can’t not play! Play is like oxygen to young and developing bodies and minds. Play is a life force for us all. One of the things that unites many of the pioneers of early education is an understanding of the centrality of play in children’s wellbeing, development and learning. And it is equally important today that we keep play forefront of early education and care.” Professor Cathy Nutbrown
At Gym Jams, we were adamant to re-open our doors as soon as the government advised it was safe to do so. Covid specific ‘Safe Operating Procedures’ and risk assessments were established and regularly updated as changes in the pandemic developed. Stringent cleaning regimes were put in place, reduced capacities were introduced at each session, plus a 350% increase in the number of sessions being delivered weekly, to ensure as many families as possible could take advantage of our provision. All of which meant that we could still serve our families in a Covid secure manner.
We needed to reopen for our own positive mental health as much as families needed us to be there for them. Together we are all getting through it. We are thankful for all the loyal support, heart-warming reviews and patience whilst we trawled through pages of government guidance and legislation, time and time over the pandemic. So many families donated the fee for a session or two while we were closed to help us to buy new ‘covid-safe’ play equipment, as we had to remove all soft toys, the ball pool and similar items. So now the children are all enjoying a new racing car, a ball blower and a police car – all of which have turned out to be hugely popular (well chosen, Jon!).
At the time of writing, we are slowly emerging from lockdown, yet conscious that yet another wave could close us down again soon. As a small business we couldn’t have survived without all the kindness and support you have all shown us during this time. We would like to thank each and every one of you from the bottom of our hearts.
Come back and visit us again soon please!