Rescue the Indoor Play Industry from Closure

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On 9th July 2020 the indoor play industry was dealt the latest devastating blow in the COVID-19 crisis. 
 
Throughout this pandemic children have been an overlooked group in decisions taken by government. The mental and physical health of children is especially important in an age group that is the least vulnerable to the virus and also the least able to comprehend the enormity of the situation.
 
The National Children’s Bureau has called on government to put children as a third pillar of their recovery strategy, alongside health and the economy. They have been backed in their campaign by over 160 organisations, from teaching unions to children’s charities. But the government has not yet listened.
 
The trade body representing British leisure parks, piers and attractions, BALPPA, has already published its report on the potential impact to the UK indoor play sector. The report has found that the sector is facing the prospect of 64% of sites closing by October if no further support is issued soon. Many have already closed for good.
 
A number of indoor play operators have received representations from their MPs that the sector would have received a timeline for reopening by now if the decisions had involved a more diverse group of individuals in Whitehall. One MP has said that in her opinion indoor play would not be closed if there had been more women taking part in the reopening decisions. Indeed, in Northern Ireland, which is led by Arlene Foster, the date for indoor play reopening has been brought forward from 7 August to 17 July, such is the importance placed on children’s mental and physical well-being.
 
The indoor play sector already has COVID-secure guidelines signed off by the Health & Safety Executive, Public Health England and the Government. The financial support given by the Chancellor this week can only add value to those allowed to reopen. Without further financial support, the future of this sector is at risk.
 
That is why we have joined with BALPPA and other indoor play operators across the UK to ask for your help in signing a petition to help save the future of children’s indoor play.
 
You can help save your local centre and protect children’s mental and physical wellbeing by joining our petition here.
 
#RescueIndoorPlay #ChildrenAtTheHeart