This page covers more about our organisation, our aims and goals for serving the Mid-lothian community that we are proud to be a part of.
Bright Sparks Play Groups
OUR MISSION IS ONE WE CHERISH
Bright Sparks Playgroup (“Bright Sparks”) is a registered charity. It was established in 1998 and operates within the area of Midlothian.
The Bright Sparks mission is
“…to provide valuable, involved, inclusive and quality based child and family oriented services which includes playgroup, holiday activities and after school support for children with complex additional needs and their families.”
OUR VISION IS CLEAR
Our vision for the future is to continue to develop our family centre for play provision and their families. We will continue to build an increasingly diverse and responsive programme of activities, maximizing the use of our resources and assets, while maintaining our core ethos of family support.
King George V Park, Bonnyrigg, Midlothian, EH19 2AD
OSCR Registred Charity SC029148
Years Serving Midlothian
Bright Sparks is a charity, which is fully grant dependant. This voluntary service is run by a Management Committee made up of parent volunteers who are committed to making a difference offering a range of opportunities and activities which aren’t widely available locally.
“Bright Sparks is not a Midlothian Council Service”
Within the Bright Sparks Centre we deliver 8 playgroup sessions every week during the academic school year. 0-5yrs playgroups gives parents the opportunity to learn to interact and play with their child separately from their caring roles during a time where diagnosis or unexplained concerns can be overwhelming.
Bright Sparks aim to offer a range of opportunities weekly. We also aim to offer a range of clubs and activities for children giving them similar opportunities in line with their peers like Brownies, Scouts and other clubs within a supportive environment Which includes Family activity sessions. During the school holidays we offer a range of Holiday Clubs with various play sessions /activities and trips and outings as we understand how long and isolating the holidays can be.
Since 2005 as we came together during Bright Sparks playgroup sessions realising “we were all connected by the unexpected different Children rearing experience different from our peers” we soon realised how isolating and limited the supports were for families with children with disabilities, with that at the heart of this, we aimed to make a difference. We are a group of passionate parents trying to make a difference within our community, as we face the same daily challenges with our own children’s disabilities as our families who attend do.
December 2015 saw Bright Sparks move to it a new building within King George V park, a purpose build centre of excellence with fully developed play areas for children with disabilities and their families. Unfortunately we will never be able to provide enough opportunities/support for all.
Bright Sparks prides itself on being an independent, member-led organisation. It benefits from an extremely strong, successful and long-serving inspirational management committee made up of parent/carers and also drawing from the business sector and the local community.
We are committed to maintaining the central role of parent/carer volunteers at the heart of Bright Sparks, ensuring that the families we support are empowered as part of a supportive, caring community.
Bright Sparks started in 1998 in the Brown Building, Gorebridge. It ran two mornings per week with shared play facilities. In 2006 we were told the Brown Building was to be demolished and we would have to look for new premises. We were offered the new Hub in Gorebridge but from the plans it was evident that this building would not cater for the complex needs of our children. At this stage parents became involved with Midlothian Councillors and Donald Mackay, Director of Education in order to source appropriate premises for us to move to.
In 2009 the Council offered the unique opportunity of putting Bright Sparks in the hands of a parent run Management Committee and moved us into Cockpen Centre. From there we have been successful in growing our organisation. Due to Midlothian’s successful early intervention/diagnosis policies more families were being referred to our service and Bright Sparks continued to grow to meet this demand for the birth to five age range. Moving into larger premises at Cockpen gave us the opportunity to pilot and develope groups for children from 5 years old and up. With this success again it meant that we outgrew the premises.
In 2014 we lobed Midlothian Council to obtain Bonnyrigg’s swimming pool building that was due to be demolished. We were successful and in January 2015 moved into the building that Midlothian Council agreed to renovate to make fight for purpose for Bright Sparks service. In April of that year Bright Sparks open its new building to its families along with a sensory room sponsored by the Wooden Spoon charity and continues to offer more groups and supports children aged 18±.
Bright Sparks currently supports over 150 families in Midlothian who have children with disabilities.
Core Policy Documentation
Child Protection Policy
BRIGHT SPARKS KEY FACTS 2019
A Powerhouse of Managment
Our office bearers are: Chairperson Louise Gough. Vice Chair Kirsite Thomson, Treasurer Scott Bennett, Secretary Jennifer Tait and Committee Member Sharon Oliver
We currently have 150 families in Midlothian registered with Bright Sparks and 631 members on our Face Book page
Lots on Offer
We offer over 6 playgroup sessions a week, out-of-school clubs, youth clubs, a pack lunch & play to families and a messy play session which is open to the local community
Do Keep In Touch
We use our Face Book page as our main communication tool with families and our website as our main general news source
Support From All
Our parent/carers and children have supported the service with many different fundraising projects
We received continued funding from Children In Need, Awards For All, Henry Duncan Fund and Young Start.
Our service is for children aged birth to 18 with severe and complex additional needs e.g. Autism, Fragile X, Cerebral Palsy, Sight and Hearing Impairments, Global Developmental Delay and Genetic Disorders.
Our activities provide social inclusion for the children who come to us. We want them to have new experiences often without their parents present.
Our activities will develop their turn taking skills, working as a team and taking direction from staff/adults. This also encourages their social communication, motor skills, motor planning skills and coordination.
Busy All Day
During our sessions we offer play and music therapy for all ages.
We recognise the needs of the whole family, we include siblings in many activities. It has been identified siblings can suffer from the same vulnerability and isolation. Many take on an active role of a young carer.
Many families are referred to Bright Sparks by health professionals, Social work, and education and self-referrals are welcomed.
Our Terms & Conditions
This website is owned and operated by Bright Sparks Play Groups, a OSCR Registered Charity no SC029148.
Throughout these terms and conditions, when we refer to ‘we’, ‘us’, ‘our’ or ‘the Company’, we are referring to Bright Sparks Play Groups and brightsparkspg.org When we refer to ‘you’, we are referring to the user or browser of this website.
These terms and conditions include general terms and conditions for use of this site, terms and conditions relating to the services provided by Bright Sparks Play Groups on the site and in the centre. Please read these terms and conditions carefully, your use of the site, the purchase of any products or services on this site will be subject to these terms and conditions. By browsing or using the website you are accepting these terms and conditions. If you do not accept these terms and conditions or any part of them, you should stop using the website immediately.
- Bright Sparks Play Groups will not be liable for any losses incurred by you in connection with your use of the website, for any delay in using or your inability to use the website, for any information or products obtained through the website.
- Bright Sparks Play Groups’ website is for your own personal and non-commercial use. You may not modify, copy, distribute, transmit, display, perform, reproduce, publish, licence, create derivative works from, transfer or sell any information obtained from the website.
- All contents of the website including any software, are protected by intellectual property rights and other related rights. No part of the website may be reproduced in any form (electronically or otherwise) without prior consent of Bright Sparks Play Groups.
- You are not permitted to link to or use all or any part of Bright Sparks Play Groups’ website for any reason which is unlawful, defamatory, harmful, obscene or objectionable and, in particular, you are not permitted to transmit anything which in Bright Sparks Play Groups’ opinion harms our business or in any way offends other users or persons.
- Bright Sparks Play Groups makes no representation, endorsement or warranty as to the accuracy of the information contained in the website. To the best of our knowledge the information on the website is accurate and correct. We reserve the right to change information on the website and will do our best to keep the information on the website accurate and up to date.
- You are not permitted to alter Bright Sparks Play Groups’ website in any way or post onto or transmit to the site, any material containing software viruses or files which may damage or disrupt the good working order of computer or telecommunications equipment.
- Bright Sparks Play Groups may suspend the operation of this site for repair or maintenance work or in order to update or upgrade the contents or functionality of the site from time to time.