This summer marks 33 years of community council-run summer playschemes in Penyrheol and Trecenydd.
The schemes, which are based in Cwm Ifor Primary School and Hendre Junior School, have been running since 1986.
There are currently more than 100 children aged between five and 11 years-old attending the two schemes, which run from the end of July to mid-August each year.
The idea behind the scheme is not only to help parents with care arrangements over the summer holidays, but to encourage children to interact with each other and take part in activities and trips they might not otherwise have the chance to do.
Children take part in activities such as arts and crafts, sport and outdoor play.
The children are also taken on trips to cinemas, beaches and zoos, among other attractions.
Helen Treherne, who has been involved in the running of the playschemes for the last 12 years, said: “We just want the kids to have fun in a safe environment.
“We’ve always had high numbers each summer. It’s a familiar setting for the kids and parents can just drop them off here.”
Ms Treherne added: “Playscheme can help kids make new friends.”
The scheme has been managed and funded by Penyrheol, Trecenydd and Energlyn (PTE) Community Council since its inception.
On Tuesday, August 6, Caerphilly County Borough Mayor Cllr Julian Simmonds visited the two playschemes, alongside Caerphilly AM Hefin David.
They were met by Cllr Steve Skivens, chair of the community council’s playscheme committee, who said: “It’s fantastic to receive recognition that the community council has assisted children and families in these wards for such a long time. I must give credit to all the current and previous community councillors who have consistently made the playschemes a reality, despite ever-changing legislation and laws making it more and more difficult to keep playschemes such as these running.
“Both playschemes are run by qualified leaders and playworkers, who tell me that they have just as much fun as the children and a big thanks go to them for making the playschemes such a success every year.”
Cllr Skivens added: “It’s great when parents and grandparents bring their children along to registration and relate stories of when they attended the playscheme. The playscheme is free to residents of the ward and offers low-cost trips, along with activities such as ‘bring-your-own-scooter’ day, slime-making, crafts, sports day and the much-loved home-made water slide.
“A lot of hard work goes into making both playschemes a reality and I’d like to thank the headteachers and governors at both Cwm Ifor Primary School and Hendre Junior School for providing us with such excellent purpose-built venues. Penyrheol playscheme received a visit by a CIW inspector this year, who mentioned what great facilities both venues were.”
During his visit, Cllr Simmonds took part in a host of activities, including pizza making.
Cllr Simmonds said: “This is a fantastic playscheme, I want to thank the community council for inviting us – it’s great to be here.
“They’re doing a sterling job. Thirty-three years is some achievement.
Dr David AM said: “This is all due to the fantastic work of PTE Community Council. It wouldn’t be here without them.
“You can see the benefit of what they do in the local community.”
Sarah Waters, who works as a playleader at the Hendre playscheme, said: “I’ve seen the same faces for the last four years.
“I love it and the kids love it too – they keep coming back each year. There’s never been any problems.”