A LOCAL charity celebrated National Play Day with an afternoon of inclusive outdoor fun, face painting and soft play.

Play Alloa welcomed over a dozen children aged five-12 years-old to its Broad Street base and they got involved in everything from slime squelching to ball pit plunging, as part of their summer playscheme programme, supported by funding from the Youthlink: Cashback for Communities Fund.

Maria Malcolm, senior project manager, said: "Celebrating inclusive play is so important and of course, at Play Alloa, this is what we do every day.

"But being part of a national day of play is a great way to celebrate alongside other organisations, and to encourage our children to fully express their creativity, enjoy the outdoors, and to generally find their fun again.

"That is what childhood is all about, no matter your ability or disability. Play is innate in every child.

"This summer we have provided a programme of 16 sessions for primary-age children, as well as 16 youth sessions, allowing teenagers to access mainstream activities within surrounding communities.

"It’s been a bumper summer, with a total of 20-30 local children and young people with disabilities joining us each day."

The first playday kicked off in London in 1987, when a small group of playworkers aimed to raise awareness of the importance of play in fostering an enjoyable and positive childhood, and to enhancing child health, well-being and development, amidst a time of spending cuts to play centres and playgrounds.

Play Alloa is a provider of play and social opportunities for children, teenagers and adults with disabilities and additional support needs across Clackmannanshire.

The event held at the beginning of the month was organised by new staff member Gemma Roach, who is the session delivery manager.

Maria said: "I am very proud of Gemma, who organised the play day session, alongside our entire staff and volunteer team who made the day, and the entire number of summer playscheme sessions, the success they have been."