All’s good on Planet Playful Lives

Astronomy fan, Nathan Burns, designed these fantastic Top Trumps cards all about the planets with our Playful Lives project during the Easter holidays.

Eight-year-old Nathan, from Scotswood, is mad about outer space and was delighted to be able to tell Lorna Nicoll and Janine Thomas from Playful Lives everything he knows about the solar system.

This is the second time Children North East have run the project, which brings play to people’s doorsteps, thanks to funding from Newcastle City Council’s Holiday Activity Fund

It’s all part of the city-wide Best Easter Ever. Nathan’s dad, Tom, who is bringing up Nathan on his own, suffers from back problems and finds it difficult to be as active as he’d like. He said: “I have a prolapsed disc so I can’t run around with him or anything like that.

“Keeping him amused can be hard work but luckily Nathan’s got a good imagination. It’s hard to find things to do because I don’t drive and there’s not really a lot round here, there’s not really a park or anything.

“Having the Playful Lives people come, it’s nice for the bairn. He doesn’t have any siblings to play with so all the attention is from me. When people come round it gives him an escape, he comes alive when he talks to other people.”

Tom said Nathan has been fascinated by astronomy for about four years. “I think it started with him watching YouTube and he’s learned all the ins and outs of every planet.”

Nathan was involved in the first Playful Lives sessions, launched last summer as part of Newcastle City Council’s Best Summer Ever, and the Bridgewater School pupil was excited to discover the play workers were returning again this Spring.

Playful Lives is a unique holiday activity scheme which aims to support 5-18 years olds in the West End during school holidays. Working in conjunction with the West End Schools’ Trust, play workers from Children North East turn up to families’ homes in all weathers to show them new activities, all at a low cost.

Lorna Nicoll, Children North East’s Poverty Proofing and Participation team manager, said, “We’ve really enjoyed being with families in their gardens and back yards again this Easter. Nathan’s beaten both me and Janine at Top Trumps, but that’s all part of the fun!”