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As the pandemic developed, Blacon Council in Chester quickly identified the need for an accessible social support network for families, who had become socially isolated or were struggling due to the closure of pre-school groups and support groups under lockdown restrictions.
The Council teamed up with Friends of the Countess of Chester Country Park (FCCCP) and their Forest Fun programme to offer parents and their children opportunities to get together and regain or develop friendships through outdoor sessions. Thanks to a grant from the Westminster Foundation, FCCCP were able to engage the services of a Senior Project Officer to run much-needed activities for parents and pre-school children in the Park.
The ability to draw on a support network while accessing outdoor space was essential for the wellbeing of the parents and children growing up in the urban Blacon environment during the pandemic.
Due to the success of Forest Fun, FCCCP will deliver another programme in 2022.