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Playzone turns frowns upside down

VISITORS to an Aberdeenshire charity which supports young people growing up in difficult circumstances are benefiting from a fun new facility made possible thanks to Wooden Spoon Scotland.

The Wooden Spoon Playzone at Befriend a Child, which has been providing one-to-one friendship and support for children from in and around Aberdeen for more than 40 years, provides younger users with a safe and welcoming space in which to play and relax.

Edinburgh Wanderer and Scottish international Emma Wassell was on hand to officially open the room, which is kitted out with games, books and activities and features a fun tree design at its centre.

Befriend a Child supports children aged between four-and-16 who often come from troubled family backgrounds of parental drug and alcohol abuse, neglect and inconsistent parenting. Many have never travelled in a car, have no concept of how to eat with a knife and fork and have no idea what lies beyond the city boundaries.

The charity’s motto is to ‘Turn a Frown Upside Down’ and its core service is a one-to-one befriending scheme that matches children with a positive adult role model – the Volunteer Befriender – who meets with them on a fortnightly basis to engage in a range of fun, everyday activities which most people would take for granted but which family and home circumstances mean are not realistic aspirations for these youngsters.