Bright Horizons Foundation for Children and the Metropolitan Police celebrate ‘Bright Space’ partnership
Date: 25 Feb 2016
The Bright Horizons Foundation for Children and the Metropolitan Police celebrated their ‘Bright Space’ partnership this week in a special ceremony in Haringey, North London.
Bright Spaces are the signature initiative of the Bright Horizons Foundation for Children, whose specific goal is to help children and families in crisis. Working with local communities, shelters and Bright Horizons clients, the Foundation are able to build stimulating spaces equipped with resourced bookshelves, games, toys and more for children of all ages. The Bright Space programme aims to create and support warm, enriching spaces within the community that provide children and families in need with a special place to play, have fun and most of all feel safe.
The Bright Space project in partnership with the Metropolitan Police’s Child Abuse Investigation Team has been focused on creating safe, child friendly spaces within Achieving Best Evidence (ABE) suites across Greater London. During the project volunteers from Bright Horizons Family Solutions, which runs over 200 nurseries across the UK, created places of warmth, comfort and security for children enduring terrible circumstances by energising the suites used by Detectives for child interviews. During the transformation of the suites, volunteers resourced the room with a selection age appropriate toys, games and books, a variety of soft furnishings, book cases and comfortable furniture.
In total Bright Horizons has opened seven Bright Spaces within ABE suites, with five more due to open later this year. They have also created Mobile Resource Packs which include activity books, crayons and pens that officers can give to children to help them feel at ease when interviewing them offsite.
Denise Priest, Director of Employer Partnerships and a board member of the Bright Horizons Foundation for Children, said, “The Bright Horizons Foundation for Children is very proud of its partnership with the MET Police’s Child Abuse Investigation Team and of the innovative Bright Spaces we have created together at the team’s interview suites. At a time when life can seem bleak, our Bright Spaces provide vulnerable children with a safe and welcoming place where they can relax and play – and simply enjoy being a child.”
DS Luke Williams from the Metropolitan Police, said, “Working with the Bright Horizon Foundation has allowed the MPS to hone in on the skill and experience of their staff in creating a positive environment for children. We interview children who have suffered unthinkable abuse and this partnership has assisted in providing a comfortable and safe space in which to give their evidence. I thank everyone involved in giving their time to create these unique suites.”