The Bright Horizons Foundation for Children officially opened their 37th Bright Space this week at Edgware Police Station in memory of Detective Sergeant John Gilbert, as part of their ongoing relationship with the Metropolitan Police.
Bright Spaces are the signature initiative of the Bright Horizons Foundation for Children, whose specific goal is to help children and families in crisis. Working with local communities, shelters and Bright Horizons clients, the Foundation are able to build stimulating spaces equipped with resourced bookshelves, games, toys and more for children of all ages. The Bright Space programme aims to create and support warm, enriching spaces within the community that provide children and families in need with a special place to play, have fun and most of all feel safe.
The Bright Space at Edgware Police Station is located within the interview suite where the CAIT (Child Abuse Investigation Team) investigate inter-family and personal abuse claims, often interviewing children between the ages of 3 and 12 years old. The space offers children a safe, comfortable environment while they are waiting to be interviewed. It has been fully resourced with a variety of age appropriate toys and games, in addition to sofas, coffee tables and a selection of soft furnishings.
The space will be known as ‘The Gilbert Suite’ in memory of Detective Sergeant John Gilbert, who died saving a friend during a diving expedition. As a much loved member of the Edgware Child Abuse Investigation Team, staff at the police station wanted to honour his selfless courage by naming the space after him.
Tracy Wilkes-Green, Bright Horizons Foundation for Children Manager, said, “We are delighted to be continuing our partnership with the Metropolitan Police Service by supporting their amazing work assisting children when they are at their most vulnerable. I would like to thank everyone who has been involved in helping this Bright Space come to fruition, including our Bright Horizons employees who have helped to raise money and awareness and to members of the police who have taken time out of their busy schedules; we hope the space is a fitting tribute to Detective Sergeant John Gilbert. We will look to build on this Bright Space in order to meet our shared purpose to make a difference for the better in children’s.”
DI Liam Adams, said, “I am delighted that our organisations have honoured Detective Sergeant John Gilbert in such a special way. The Bright Space offers our team a staging area for my interviewers, an area for children to prepare; they can get to know each other better in a comfortable non-threatening environment. The room itself is pleasantly detached from the old building that it sits within.”