A PLAY bus is hitting the road to bring fun to families who struggle to travel into Bacup.

The On The Doorstep project will see a brightly-coloured wagon with a 36ft trailer staffed by qualified carers and stocked with toys, activities and educational tools set up on streets free of charge.

The scheme is being run by The Maden Centre and it has received around £2,000 in small grants from Rossendale District Prevention and Early Intervention panel to fund the project.

Jeanette Topham, an outreach worker at the centre in Rochdale Road, who organised the scheme, said: “The play sessions are for parents and their children aged five and under.

“I wanted to get the out and engage with families in the area who might not be able to access the centre easily.

“We realise that a lot of people struggle to get to the centre because of money, or travel reasons.

“There are a lot of families with under-fives who aren’t registered with a centre because of these barriers and we wanted to be able to engage with them.

“There will be baking, crafts, role playing, singing, rhyming, books, messy play.

“There will be everything you could expect in the children’s centre, but on the bus.

“It will be staffed by two qualified play workers and one member of staff from the centre.

“There will be a free, healthy snack provided for youngsters.”

Mrs Topham previously worked at Rochdale Council’s play ranger and asked it if the On The Doorstep project could use its play bus for the project and the council agreed.

She said: “Rossendale Council doesn’t have the provision for one and the bus is great because it is so brightly-coloured and people will see it when it’s on the estate.”

The play bus will be parked in Hawthorn Road in Bacup on Thursday and Cutler Crescent in Stacksteads on Thursday, January 16, and then on alternating Thursdays from 11am to 1pm, until April 1.

For more information about how to join in, call The Maden Centre on 01706 871740.