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PARC Essex educate shoppers about the right to play

‘Every child has the right to play’ was the message motivating shoppers this Saturday, after members of the PARC Essex team visited Chelmsford’s High Chelmer Shopping Centre.

The charity – whose aim is to provide play and recreation facilities for children with additional needs such as Autism, Cerebral Palsy and Downs Syndrome, and short break care for their families and carers – were talking to shoppers about how they can get involved and play a role in supporting the 500 children and young people that use their services.

High Chelmer Centre Manager, Mick McDonagh, said he was thrilled to welcome the PARC Essex team to the centre. “’Every child has the right to play’ is an inspiring message and something I’m delighted that we’ve been able to help spread to the people of Chelmsford,” said Mick.

“As well as providing a space for children of all abilities to be kids, PARC also offers invaluable respite care for families where children can play and rest in a safe environment. Young people and their families from across the region benefit from the work that they do. It was great to have members of the team engaging with our brilliant shoppers.”

Amanda Richardson, events manager at PARC Essex, said: “We help families from all over Essex, Cambridge and Ipswich. It costs about £650,000 per year to keep the centre going which we have to raise ourselves. Having the opportunity to have a presence in High Chelmer helps us to talk to more members of the public, making them aware of the work we do.

“On Saturday, we spoke to many families, some who felt they could benefit from PARC and our services and others who felt that we offered a unique service to those who need it. I’d like to say a huge ‘thank you’ to the High Chelmer team for allowing us to come in. It makes such a big difference to us.”