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UEA Sportspark reopens to offer free childcare to NHS workers

PUBLISHED: 09:01 20 April 2020 | UPDATED: 09:12 20 April 2020

Children holding up the colouring sheet to celebrate the NHS on the Sportspark's athletics track (Credit: UEA Sportspark).

Children holding up the colouring sheet to celebrate the NHS on the Sportspark's athletics track (Credit: UEA Sportspark).

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A sportspark has reopened its doors to offer free child care to the children of NHS staff during the coronavirus pandemic.

UEA Sportspark, in Norwich, has reopened as a day-care facility to support and acknowledge the hard work of frontline health workers.l (Credit: UEA Sportspark).UEA Sportspark, in Norwich, has reopened as a day-care facility to support and acknowledge the hard work of frontline health workers.l (Credit: UEA Sportspark).

UEA Sportspark, in Norwich, has reopened as a day-care facility to support and acknowledge the hard work of frontline health workers.

The venue is offering an extended child care service between 8am-8pm Monday to Friday, which schools are currently unable to offer.

The scheme is open to children aged five to 15 years old, whose parents are key workers at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust and Norfolk Community Health and Care NHS Trust.

It has been set up by UEA Health and Social Care Partners who are working with the university and NHS trusts to access emergency funding which means parents can use the service free of charge.

Youngsters who attend the service are split into groups at the start of the day, with each group then following a different schedule which includes physical activities during the day followed by crafts in the evening.

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Sports on offer include tennis, badminton, athletics, dodgeball and party games.

Youngsters also receive a healthy packed lunch and are given information on what they can do to minimise the risk of spreading Covid-19.

Phil Steele, director of Sport and Commercial Services at UEA, said: “Right now we’re all deeply indebted to our colleagues in the NHS for providing such a fantastic and essential service to keep us safe and healthy.

“With a spacious, multi-purpose community facility at our disposal, it seemed obvious that we should put this to good use as a way of giving something back to them.”

Adam Garford, head of sport and physical activity development at UEA Sportspark, said: “So far the children seem to have really enjoyed themselves and been able to take part in a number of sports and activities they hadn’t tried before – and we’ve had a lot of grateful parents too.”

Any key workers interested in using the Sportspark childcare service should contact ueahscp@uea.ac.uk.

Any other NHS and social care organisations interested in using the provision for their staff over the coming weeks should also contact: ueahscp@uea.ac.uk.


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