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Frome-based charity, Purple Elephant, has been awarded a grant of £6,000 from Frome Town Council to help it continue its work promoting family projects across the area.

Originally founded to offer the day-long, annual, free Frome Children’s Festival, Purple Elephant has now expanded to offer a number of year-round services. These include the Toy Library lending service with weekly play and learn sessions where families can access basic parenting advice, and Small Steps, a new early years, early-intervention service, giving targeted parenting support to families with pre-school children.

During lockdown, Purple Elephant also set up its Befriending service offering support for children aged between five and 12 years. Initially run via Zoom, the support is now transitioning to face to face sessions.

Purple Elephant has also provided Family Holiday Fun during school holidays, including activities such as crafts, forest school, sport, cookery and fun-science, delivered by experienced activity providers and family support staff on-site, available to assist families with additional needs. This service runs in partnership with Fair Frome who offer a free lunch to all who attend as well as providing volunteers.

Frome Mayor Andy Wrintmore presenting the £6,000 funds to Sue Willis of Purple Elephant

Purple Elephant is also the body behind the much-loved free Children’s Festival, which took place in August 2021 offering 30 different activities for children of all ages including theatre, sports, crafts, storytelling, forest school and music. The festival, which hosts up to 3,000 people in non-Covid times, has also now grown to include a training opportunity for young people who help with design and delivery.

“We have gone through a rapid growth in the past 18 months in reaction to identifying and responding to the needs of many vulnerable families in Frome,” explained Purple Elephants director, Sue Willis. “The support given to us by the council is amazing and now, as we have become more of a vital service-provider than we had ever imagined, we are reaching out to local businesses to please join us as sponsors.  If you’re a local business, get in touch if you’d like to be a part of our amazing Purple Elephant community.”

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