CHILDLINE ADVICE: Play could be essential part of recovering from pandemic

Play, such a simple word, but an essential part of our child’s development. Research has shown that play is essential for improving and maintaining our children’s physical and mental health.

Monday, 17th May 2021, 12:00 am
Research has shown that play is essential for improving and maintaining our children’s physical and mental health.
Research has shown that play is essential for improving and maintaining our children’s physical and mental health.

Over the past year the pandemic has turned so many children’s lives upside down, for too many children they faced months trapped in abusive households. Our children have had to face time away from their usual loving extended family, their friends, supportive networks and, sadly, even faced bereavement due to Covid-19. Mental health has remained the top reason young people have got in touch with Childline, and latest data has revealed that there have been 73,088 counselling sessions about mental or emotional health alone since April last year. I am so incredibly proud of our 1,200 Childline volunteers as well as supporters and partners who did so much to ensure we could be here for children during these extraordinary times, so the service could stay open and that young people had somewhere to turn.

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Thanks to their hard work, the support of donations we were able to provide a wealth of resources to help children and young people. In fact so many more young people accessed Childline’s online resources, information and tools to support their own mental health in ways and at times that were most convenient and helpful to them. The week the March 2020 lockdown began there were over 10,000 pageviews of the Childline’s Calm Zone, which offers breathing exercises and activities to help let go of stress.

So as talk has now turned to recovery and work on understanding the true impact the pandemic has had on our children is ongoing, play could be an essential part of that recovery. So ahead of the NSPCC’s Childhood Day on June 11th, we are asking the UK to come together to play, raise money and help keep children safe. Why not battle your way through your children’s favourite online games, head to your local park or gather in the back garden for a play day party?

However you choose to play, with your help and donations, we can ensure that our children are not the generation defined by the pandemic but are the generation who went onto thrive despite it. To find out more about Childhood Day and get your free fundraising pack with lots of play ideas visit: nspcc.org.uk/childhood-day