New community café and play scheme is 'just what Leigh Park needs'

Community Firsts Leigh Park Community Centre opened its Park Play and cafe
Community Firsts Leigh Park Community Centre opened its Park Play and cafe
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A COMMUNITY café and play session is proving popular as families flocked to a new facility’s open day.

Community First’s Leigh Park Community Centre opened its Park Play and café for people in the area to enjoy, with 100 people turning up and praising it.

Community Firsts Leigh Park Community Centre opened its Park Play and cafe

Community Firsts Leigh Park Community Centre opened its Park Play and cafe

Visitor Emma Tyler said: ‘You can tell that every inch of this place has been designed with the local community at heart; a friendly atmosphere, staff from the local area, affordable prices, handmade drinks and snacks. It is just what Leigh Park needs.’ 

The Heart of the Park Café is now open from 9.30am to 2.30pm every day serving baguettes, paninis, kids meal deals and coffee. 

Alongside the café, the centre opened Park Play, a preschool stay and play session for £1.50 per child.

Park Play is open from 10am to midday on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays and 12.30pm to 2.30pm on Wednesdays and Fridays. 

Role play toys, soft play, crafts, games, books, a baby corner, and ride-on toys perfect for under-fives are on offer at the sessions. 

Centre co-ordinator Leah Moore said: ‘Don’t worry. The older kids haven’t been forgotten this summer holiday. If the craft table isn’t their thing, Park Play also offers free wifi.’

Last week an instructor from Matt Fiddes Martial Arts taught the kids some moves and they were able to try some equipment.

Park Play welcomes organisers of other groups or classes to go along to run a free 30-minute taster at one of the sessions to showcase all the things offered by the Leigh Park community. 

The Heart of the Park Café and Park Play are a social enterprise, with the start-up funded by Big Lottery Fund and managed by Community First’s supported volunteering project Positive Pathways. 

It is a training facility and many of the staff are volunteers, new to employment, or returning to work. It aims to support people to develop new skills, gain work experience, develop confidence and provide a route to employment or further training, as well as providing a place for the community of Leigh Park to enjoy.