Wolves Play Cafe's mission is to help create a safe, supportive and fun city for children of Wolverhampton to grow up in.
We do this by delivering play across the city in partnership with other great organisations who share the same values such as other CICs and charities, community centres, gardening and allotment groups and schools and nurseries , creating and delivering Pay As You Feel stay and play sessions and distributing Play at Home Packs to families across the city.
Our exploratory play opportunities are unique in the city and aim to empower parents and caregivers with ideas, skills, take-home resources and confidence to continue play and support development long after our sessions.
- To facilitate varied, open-ended and carefully scaffolded play opportunities to support development and independence of children under 7 and primarily those under 5, in our city
- To create a caring and cohesive community in our hometown - helping reduce feelings of isolation of caregivers of young children by providing safe, friendly, welcoming and diverse opportunities to enable valuable stories to be shared
- To empower caregivers of young children to support their knowledge of children’s development to help create lifelong impacts for little ones’ lives in our city
We began playing in pilot play sessions in February 2019, talking with caregivers and listening to what’s important for play for young children in Wolverhampton.
We continue to listen and share stories by delivering a range of carefully developed early years stay and play sessions in community locations and schools across the city. Spaces have included Gatis Community Space, The Light House, Wednesfield Community Centre and All Saints Community Centre. Wherever possible, sessions are Pay As You Feel or subsidised by funding to create accessible play opportunities.
We became a Community Interest Company in July 2020 and opened our online shop with Play at Home resources and gifts to help strengthen the organisation and further our investment into accessible play across the city, particularly in this challenging time. Our Covid-19 response has included Play at Home Packs Project and outdoor play sessions in parks and community gardens throughout Wolverhampton.
In May 2021 we made our first new additions to the team since founding, recruiting to two new Play Explorer roles to support administration and play sessions. Reflecting our organisation’s ethos, both Play Explorers local beneficiaries who attended sessions and able to contribute new expertise to the development of Wolves Play Café while building skills in early years development and business management. In May 2021 we also piloted a community of volunteer Play Tester Families, a team of local beneficiaries who help shape our future activities and direction through evaluation of current and planned sessions and products.
Successful projects included Wolves in the Woods, Play in the Park and Early Explorers, including exciting partnership working with the Care Leavers' Team at City of Wolverhampton Council, Boundary Way Project and Gatis Community Space.
We were so grateful to secure funding for our popular sessions including Wolves in the Woods and Play in the Park, and continue partnership working with Boundary Way Allotments and Gatis Community Space. New collaborative opportunities were explored with the University of Wolverhampton's Early Years Department, the Care Leavers' Team at City of Wolverhampton Council and The Haven, Women's Refuge. We were thrilled to be invited onto the School of Social Entrepreneurs Trade Up Programme, and from this launched our Parties, Groups and relaunch of a cafe offer. Our team had 6 beneficiaries in paid roles shaping our work.
We are working towards a permanent base for Wolves Play Cafe and want to learn along the way with everyone so we can keep creating a fun and friendly place for children and caregivers of Wolverhampton to enjoy.
If you have any ideas or would like to support and help build the organisation in any way please get in touch, we'd love to talk to you!
Get in touch
We're always looking to hear from people who share our passion!
July 2021 to June 2022
Wolves Play Cafe is so grateful of our funders and partners who are also passionate about play!
With thanks to:
Charter Savings Bank
Gatis Community Space
Boundary Way Allotments
All Saints Action Network
Wolverhampton for Everyone
Low Hill Nursery School
Springdale Primary School
Midlands School of Social Entrepreneurs
Rotary Club of Wolverhampton
James Beattie Charitable Trust
Millennium Point Charitable Trust
Grantham Yorke Trust
Severn Trent Water Community Fund
City of Wolverhampton Council and local Councillors
Wolves Play Cafe is a not-for-profit organisation, all funds are invested into supporting young children and their caregivers in our city.