Derby education supplier Cosy says coronavirus has created a boom in outdoor play for UK children

Derby education supplier Cosy says coronavirus has created a boom in outdoor play for UK children

A Derby company which supplies responsibly sourced play equipment to schools and nurseries all over the UK has welcomed an unexpected consequence of the coronavirus – an increase in children being encouraged to play outside in the fresh air.

Cosy Direct, which is based in Siddals Road, says it has received an unprecedented level of inquiries from teachers and childcare staff seeking advice and asking about products designed to encourage children to engage safely in outdoor learning and play.

In common with a great many other companies, Cosy saw its order book dry up and its operation grind to a halt in March when the coronavirus lockdown impacted on its customers as well as its suppliers.

Orders started to return within a few weeks but really took off in July, August and September, as schools got to grips with the social distancing measures needed to ensure that children could return safely and without fear of spreading the coronavirus.

One method is to increase the amount of lessons held outside, which decreases the chances of getting the coronavirus an estimated 19-fold.

Cosy identified its recovery curriculum collection, which contains necessary items such as hand-washing stations, outdoor dividers, and wooden shelters, and all have been in high demand.

The company has also experienced a huge spike in traffic on its social media channels from schools and nurseries keen to learn more about and share outdoor play ideas.

Peter Ellse, CEO of Cosy Direct said:

“In 2016, research showed three-quarters of children in the UK spent less time outside than prisoners and at Cosy we have always been passionate about promoting the benefits of outdoor learning.

“Our sales virtually stopped dead when the coronavirus lockdown started but a significant percentage of the products we have sold as they have recovered have come from our recovery curriculum range.

“The coronavirus has had an enormous effect on everybody’s lives, but while it has been extraordinarily damaging in so many ways, the fact that it has led to more children being encouraged to play outdoors is at least a silver lining.”

Set up in 2011 by Peter and his wife, Amanda, Cosy employs 80 people and seeks to promote a healthier learning culture for young children aged between 0 and eight years old.

It prides itself on its sustainable approach to business, with most of its products arriving by road, while it also allocates 10% of its profits every year with charities and community initiatives in Derby and abroad, including Derby Kids Camp, Derby Book Festival and the YMCA, as

well as sponsoring five city children’s sports teams. 

Further afield, it has funded sports coaching in The Gambia and sponsored students in order to pay for their education in Kenya. 

Cosy is also known for its innovation and invention and creates more than 500 ideas a year from teacher’s ideas, putting it amongst the largest creator of teacher’s ideas worldwide in the early childhood segment. 


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