A COUPLE have launched a crowdfunding campaign and sold their business to finance their vision of opening the UK’s first Bible-themed play centre for children.
The idea for the Hidden Treasure Discovery Centre came to Andy and Ruth Lancey one night, when they felt called to sell their travel business and open a play centre to offer support to families and children.
Mrs Lancey said: “We have become acutely aware that many parents are struggling to provide sound emotional support and to raise their children the way they would like because of personal challenges and experiences. We’re so excited at the prospect of supporting families through the centre: educating them, sharing Jesus, and helping thousands of children to realise their own God-given value and potential.”
The soft-play area and games will be designed to help children to discover their own worth and explore their spirituality, she said.
Mrs Lancey is a former team leader with the mission movement Eden, which sends out teams of urban missionaries. She said that they had found a building to house the centre in south Manchester, and were now “moving forward in faith” with the project. The Crowdfunding campaign opened this week, and the couple are putting £50,000 of their own money into the project. They hope that the centre will open by Easter 2018.
As well as soft play, the centre will offer a rolling daily programme of stories, song time, craft, and Godly Play, as well as free parenting courses, the Alpha course, and the Christians Against Poverty life-skills course.
It is hoped that the centre will open every day — apart from Sunday mornings — and will be used by churches and youth groups, besides families.