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Bright Spaces open for vulnerable children in police protection

July 8, 2024

New facilities for children taken into emergency police protection have been officially opened at stations across Hertfordshire.

The bespoke ‘Bright Spaces’ children’s rooms are situated at Hertford, Stevenage, and Watford police stations, and provide a safe environment for vulnerable children and young adults while appropriate safeguarding measures are put into place.

The Bright Spaces were created by the Bright Horizons Foundation for Children and contain comfortable and homely seating and soft furnishings, and a range of books, toys, games and play resources for children of all ages to enjoy.

A significant community effort made these Bright Spaces possible, with fundraising, volunteering and donations from local Bright Horizons nurseries and Bright Horizons colleagues, and the Hertfordshire Community Foundation which provided a £2,500 grant.

Officers and charity representatives came together on Thursday (27 June) for an official opening at each of the locations.

Inspector Spencer Neal, who oversaw the project on behalf of the constabulary, said: “Unfortunately, there are circumstances which result in children having to be placed under emergency police protection for a short period of time. This can be a worrying and upsetting experience for those involved.

“These new rooms provide a safe and comfortable environment for vulnerable children and young adults while appropriate ongoing care is put in place.

“We’re incredibly grateful for the work that Bright Horizons has undertaken to help us create these rooms and I’d like to thank everyone involved with the project. The new facilities have already made such a difference.”

Caroline Wright, Early Childhood Director at Bright Horizons, said, “It has been a privilege to be here, and I am so proud of what we have been able to accomplish together. I am confident that the Bright Spaces will continue to make a difference to children, young people and the officers who support them.”

The Bright Horizons community raised a further £4,300 recently when a Bright Horizons team, together with police cadets, sat on all 22,220 seats at Watford FC, in just 47 minutes! These funds will help create another Bright Space in the county and renew those already open.

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