Walsall Mayor praises community hub

By Harriet Evans | Walsall | News | Published:

New stay and play sessions have been opened in Walsall to provide a hub for parents and their children.

Councillor Paul and Chris Bott with children Keegan Shilton and Caoimhe Larmour, both aged one

The mayor of Walsall, Councillor Paul Bott, officially marked the opening of the Butterfly Children's Cafe and Play on Friday morning at Ryecroft Community Hub.

Sessions will be held Monday to Friday from 9.30am to 4pm and allow parents to bring their children in to play while they use the centre's other facilities.

Councillor Bott said: "There is a desperate need for this in the community, it gives respite to the parents and also activities for the kids and it breaks up the monotony of the deprivation.

"While the children play the parents can use the computers to do their universal credit applications and search for jobs.

"The things they are doing here are excellent, and the facilities are second to none, they're even creating a garden so some of the children who live in flats and don't have access to an outdoor space can use it."

The idea came from owner Jayne Blake, who has set up the sessions using her own funds, however, she is seeking extra funds from supporters and organisations so the work can expand and continue.

A team of more than 10 dedicated volunteers help her run the sessions.

The hub also serves healthy, balanced meals in its on-site cafe and encourages families to eat healthy meals.

Councillor Bott, added: "We hope people support the stay and play sessions and that Jayne will get external funding so she can continue her good work."

Harriet Evans

By Harriet Evans
Community Reporter - @HarrietEvans_ES

Community Reporter at the Express & Star, covering the issues affecting young people across the Black Country and Staffordshire. Contact me at

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