The Entertainer has launched a new initiative in partnership with Young Minds to make every Saturday a Day of Play; championing the importance of play in children for a happy, healthy mind and emotional wellbeing.
The concept has been launched as an extension of the role the UK high street toy retailer has played in supporting Children’s Mental Health Week this past week, running from February 2nd to 9th.
The idea will see 172 stores nationwide become a hive of fun and play, with toys out of the packaging and ready to pick up and play. The team will also be on-hand to demonstrate the range of toys and encouraging children to play with them together.
NHS research conducted in 2017 found one in eight children have a diagnosable mental health disorder – equating to roughly three children in every classroom – while there has been a sharp rise in conditions such as anxiety and depression in recent years.
The same research discovered current gaps in early support for young people with mental health problems, according to the charity. In a survey of over 7,000 young people under 25 who have looked for mental health support, two-thirds of respondents said that they had been unable to find mental health support when they first needed it.
Three-quarters said they had had to manage their mental health on their own when they couldn’t find help elsewhere.
In support of the children’s charity YoungMinds, on February, Saturday 8th 10 per cent of the profits from the sales of The Entertainer’s Ready Steady Dough products will be donated to YoungMinds.
The day will also be filled with hands-on fun with the in-store Big Create where children will be able play with the Ready Steady Dough products and crafts.
Gary Grant, founder and executive chairman at The Entertainer, said: “Modern childhood is filled with more pressures from an early age than ever before – from cyber bullying and peer pressure to school tests and performance expectations – being a child today isn’t always fun and games.
“Yet fun and games is a release that children need to help them live a healthy and happy life and that’s why Saturdays are being dedicated as a day of play throughout our stores and we’re hoping families will enjoy the opportunity to play together more.
“It’s also why we’re supporting YoungMinds and raising funds through the sale of our popular Ready Steady Dough range as mental health services for children need more support. We look forward to welcoming families into store to play together whilst supporting a great cause.”
Nick Harrop, head of media and influencing at YoungMinds, added: “We are extremely grateful to The Entertainer for their support of YoungMinds and their generosity will help us continue our vital work fighting for the mental health of children and young people across the country.
“The Entertainer’s Big Create is the ideal way to bring people together to increase awareness of children’s mental health issues.”
For further information please visit www.thetoyshop.com and www.youngminds.org.uk