Plans to create first soft play area in North-east for kids with additional support needs

How the soft play area in Inverurie could look.

A woman is looking to set up the first soft play centre in the North-east aimed at providing specialist activities for children with additional support needs.

Becky Mennie, 30, from Inverurie, is working towards creating the space in her community.

She said: “I work as a support worker and my godson has cerebral palsy.

“There was just no play areas to go to nearby that were suitable. The closest was in Edinburgh. At first I played with the idea of opening a small space, but I decided we really need a bigger space and a soft play centre.

“Every child has the right to play.

“Places are adapting but just not enough.”

Becky decided to set up a charity to reach her goal, which she called BECS – Because Everyone Counts.

“The idea is that the centre will be open to the public but it will also have a separate sensory space for children that can’t cope with the noise of a regular play area.

“It will be open Monday to Sunday so there will be no time limit.

“I’ve spoken to St Andrew’s School in Inverurie and they’re very keen to get involved.”

Now the charity is hoping to raise £15,000 to make the dream a reality.

Becky, who is mum to two-year-old Mason, said: “We’re aiming to fundraise half of the money through public donations and the other half will come through various trusts.

She added: “There are so many ideas for what we can do.

“We’ll be running training courses on relaxation and how to manage kids with autism as well.

“There really will be something for everyone.

“Our main focus is on integration and inclusion. I really feel that somebody has got to do it.”

She added: “I’ve worked in nurseries and done various other things but I’ve always just clicked with children that have additional needs. This is a real passion project for me.”

To donate money to the BECS fundraising effort, visit bit.ly/2nGra4g

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