Thirteen families from Rotherham enjoyed a day beside the sea thanks to a team of volunteers from Willmott Dixon.

Willmott Dixon worked with Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council Social Services to identify families who would not normally have the opportunity to go on holiday and staff from the company's repairs and maintenance branch in Rotherham organised a coach trip to the beach in Scarborough to celebrate national Playday (August 7). The youngsters were treated to an afternoon of activities, including rounders, donkey rides, and a beach safety talk by the RNLI, and enjoyed a meal of fish and chips on the beach. Willmott Dixon also provided buckets and spades to help the children make the most of their trip to the seaside.

This activity is part of a UK-wide initiative by Willmott Dixon Partnerships to promote the Playday campaign, coordinated by Play England and partners, and highlight the importance of play in children’s lives.

Willmott Dixon’s Customer and Community Officer in Rotherham, Michael Pearson, said: “This is the third successful trip that we have arranged for local families and we’re pleased to be supporting Play England with their Playday initiative. The trip took a lot of planning and hard work, but it was all worth it to see the smiles on the kids’ faces when they saw the sea. It has also brought thirteen families together and we hope that they have enjoyed the day as much as we have.”

Cath Prisk, Director of Play England, said: “Play is an essential part of every child's life and is vital to their emotional and physical development. Research shows that, through play, children learn about themselves and the world around them, develop confidence, self-esteem and creativity. We’re asking everyone to make play a priority for Playday 2013.”

Play England works with locally based organisations to raise awareness of the importance of play for families and communities and increase the opportunities for children to play where they live. Playday is the national day for play in the UK. The campaign is coordinated by Play England, PlayBoard Northern Ireland, Play Scotland and Play Wales. On Playday and throughout the summer of 2013, children, young people and communities will get out and play at hundreds of locally organised events across the UK.

Mick Williamson, managing director of Willmott Dixon Partnerships said; “This is very much part of our ethos called Transforming Communities, which is about how we can make a real, positive difference to the lives of people living locally. We want to play an active part in delivering initiatives that leave real legacy and recently wrote a report, called Transforming Communities, to share ideas and help organisations deliver sustainable growth to help communities through these current austere times.”

Willmott Dixon Partnerships is working with Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council to deliver a repairs service to 12,000 council-owned properties in the areas of Wentworth South, Wentworth Valley, Rother Valley West and Rother Valley South.