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Online play sessions helping families to stay connected during lockdown


Over 100 families from all over the world and who now live in Glasgow became firm friends during lockdown through Licketyspit’s BIG PORRIDGE & PLAY

Scotland’s pioneering intergenerational imaginary play specialists, Licketyspit, have played a major part in bringing together the families to participate in online play sessions. 

BIG PORRIDGE & PLAY ONLINE was set up to tackle social isolation and to support families during lockdown. Around 80% of the families taking part are refugee families. The online sessions enabled the families to play games, sing songs and go on imaginary adventures - all from their living rooms!

BIG PORRIDGE & PLAY was created in 2017, with and for children living in some of the most disadvantaged areas of Glasgow. The sessions support families to tap into their imaginations for hours of joy, excitement, creative learning, and connection.   

At the start of lockdown, Licketyspit was one of several organisations to address digital inequality through the Scottish Government’s Wellbeing Fund, BEMIS Scotland, the Good Things Foundation and latterly, Connecting Scotland, to ensure that digital access was not a barrier to participating. The organisation has distributed over 100 devices.

A mum of three children, originally from Nigeria and now living in Drumchapel, said “We came here and they had no friends and it made them lonely. But now… oh my god! I begin to see Beauty come out of her shell because she’s one of the introverts in the family like in school they would ask questions and she wouldn’t want to put up her hand, but ever since she has joined, I got her school report a couple of days ago and I see that she has taken bold steps. She’s more confident which is phenomenal”. 

Another mum originally from Cameroon and now living in Toryglen said: “Even before she’s asking me ‘mummy when am I going to play with my friends on the tablet? Mummy are we playing today?’ Now she’s doing very well.”

With around 158 different languages spoken in Glasgow, these virtual play sessions included the invention of the ‘hello game’ where children share their language. Languages have included Kurdish, Yoruba, Hungarian, and Shona. To find out more, visit the website.

Part of the sessions also included a series of videos created by children including Exploring with Zainab, where the 15 year old Nigerian New Scot takes us on virtual adventures to Djibouti, Tanzania and Nigeria. 

Feedback from BIG PORRIDGE & PLAY has revealed a positive impact in terms of families’ mental health. 

To take part in these free sessions and join the Licketyspit Children & Families Network (CFN) email or text children and families network producer, Ruby Zajac, on / 07413 800 342.



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