Children, the Seven Up team will tell you, do not come in boxes, nor do they fit in boxes. In 2005 this group of Handsworth families set about creating alternative environments and stretch to fit services to help local children and young people to flourish and grow. On Thursday 21st April between 1pm and 2pm, Seven Up is celebrating seven years of delivering inclusive weekend, afterschool and holiday play opportunities. There will be also be a community lunch to launch the Secret Garden Inclusive Community Play Space that the group have funded and developed in a plot of disused land alongsideRookery Road Children’s Centre.
Seven Up are also shouting about the success of the Children in Need bid they wrote for Rookery School which will provide £10,000 a year for three years to help fund an inclusive community after school provision called Tuesdays Child. This community play initiative will give priority access to local children with additional needs that may face barriers to their potential to achieve, participate and belong.
Seven Up have raised over £150, 000 over seven years of struggling, juggling and sheer determination to keep local children growing through play and leisure opportunities. The group have been supported from their beginnings by Dens of Equality, Birmingham’s inclusion development agency.
The new Secret Garden designed and installed by Outerscapes has been funded with a grant from the Be Birmingham Successful Neighbourhoods Fund, Short breaks funding from the Heart of Birmingham Primary Care Trust and Dens of Equality. Many thanks also go to Travis Perkins for their extremely generous donations to this project. Seven Up play services have been funded by Short Breaks for disabled children from Birmingham City Council, Hand in Hand extended schools cluster funding, Grassroots Birmingham Foundation grants and Awards for All lottery contributions amongst others.
Seven Up will be delivering regular out of school services in the new Secret Garden and fundraising for a playhouse so that they can deliver outdoors in all weather from the autumn. Seven Up always gives priority access to local children with individual needs that may not access other services but the group is not exclusive and welcomes many local children reflecting the rich mix of our local community.
From September the group hope to extend Playing Up, a pilot afterschool playcare provision, they have trialled recently. Families that have children with additional needs often cannot go to work because they cannot find any suitable tailor made childcare that will meet their children needs. Seven Up is working to fill this gap and also provide a Tuesday nurturing nest where children in need of play can be referred by specialist services.
Seven Up group are looking to work with LOCAL businesses to sponsor building their garden and funding any hours of play delivery to help local children GROW. Sponsors will be included in widespread promotional material, and team uniforms in addition to receiving free invitations for their business to next years large scale community ball.
If you would like to attend the community lunch on Thursday or would like to talk more about sponsoring Seven Up please call Adele Cleaver on 07772216833 or email firstname.lastname@example.org