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WORKING FOR

I G H T TO P L AY THE CHILD’S R

Extracts from the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child Article 12

child all assure to the StateS partieS sh own forming his or her who is capable of S expreSS those view viewS the right to e child, S affecting th freely in all matter e child being given du the viewS of the d ce with the age an weight in accordan ild. maturity of the ch

3 le 2 23 icle Art rtic A

StateS PartieS recogniSe that a mentally or phySically diSabled child Should enjoy a full and decent life, in condi tionS which ensure dignity, promote Self -reliance and facilitate the child’S ac tive participation in the commu nity.

Article 31

and the right to reSt 1. Every child has in play and leiSure, to engage tieS appropriate recreational activi e child and to to the age of th in cultural life and participate freely the artS.

play p olicy

e range mainstream funding and a wid ailable to of resourceS Should be av Strategy Support the policy and voices

resour ces

outdoors

and mentS Shall reSpect rn ve go r be em M 2. t of the child to promote the righ c cultural and artiSti in lly fu e at ip ic rt pa n urage the proviSio life and Shall enco itieS d equal opportun an te ia pr o pr ap of d ic, recreational an for cultural, artist leisure activity.

as a matter of priority reSourceS must be made availab le to Support Inclusive Play

ed in be more involv children must st their voiceS mu d n a g in k ma deciSion t have an impac be Shown to

outdoor play both Supervi Sed and unSupervised Should be bro ught into policy activit y aS a core interdepartme ntal theme in the Executive Programme fo r Government eS and HomeZon S re su a me g ren traffic calmin to allow child are eSSential enable StreetS and he t im la c re to again d’S to grow children’S worl

celebrate

The entire Convention can be found on the Department of Health’s website -www.doh.gov.uk/unchild.htm

the Executive mu St commit to pl ay and adopt a play policy Statement underpinned by a national Strategy for providing fo r children’S play ne edS

there Should be a Northern Ireland Children’S Day to celebrate children’S achievementS


Chief Executive’S Report My first year in PlayBoard has exceeded all my expectations. I always aspired to work in the voluntary sector and admired the energy, enthusiasm and commitment that motivated everyone involved. The challenges for PlayBoard this year have been enormous and we have grown from strength to strength simply because of the overwhelming support of our members, partner and sponsor organisations. So a huge ‘thank you’ to all concerned. Our major achievements this year include ‘Pathways to Excellence’, PlayBoard’s new quality assurance scheme; the launch of ‘Out 2 Play’, our very own play project promoting physical and outdoor play for 7-12 year olds; the launch of the Out of School Hours Learning through Play project; and our partnership training project, promoting inclusive play for children with disabilities, ‘Play for All’. PlayBoard’s role as an Intermediary Funding Body for Measure 1.5: Positive Action for Women, was launched in January as we made our first call for Sustaining the PlayCare Initiative. We have worked closely with the Special European Union Programmes Body, our sponsor department the Department of Employment and Learning, and the four Childcare Partnerships to deliver the funding to the PlayCare sector, and we thank them all for their support. Nevertheless a lot of work remains to ensure the sustainability of current provision and to establish provision in rural and many Protestant communities, which at present are under-represented in terms of provision. The biggest accolade of all goes to the PlayCare clubs who battled their way through huge application forms on-line, and our biggest regret is that we couldn’t make funding available to all of you who made the effort to apply. A second call will be made early next year for the limited amount of funds remaining.

y a l p o t e it’s tim

As seems to be the case throughout the voluntary sector we have been unable to secure funding for many great staff members who have moved on to a wide range of exciting projects. We wish them success and hope to keep them in our network. We welcome our new staff members who have joined us this year to deliver our innovative projects. I know they will be very happy at PlayBoard, as indeed I am. We have a lot of work to do this year, lobbying to have play included again in the Programme for Government, and to have the Executive adopt a play policy statement as the National Assembly for Wales has done and fund play through mainstream budgets. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, ratified by the UK Government in December 1991, recognises the importance of play for the child. To ensure the full implementation of Article 31 of the Convention, the Executive should make a play policy statement that contributes to creating an environment that encourages and nurtures children’s play, and underpin a national strategy for providing for children’s play needs. Finally, a word of thanks to the Board of Directors for their support, guidance and good humour and in particular we are indebted to Billy Boyd, Chairman of the Board of Directors for his dedication and determination to ensure the success of PlayBoard. Marguerite Hunter Blair Chief Executive “play is older and more origional than civilization” Johan Huizinga, Homo Ludeus

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trai ning

ChairperSon’S Report

TRAINING SECTION

At the end of my first year as Chairman of the Board of Directors, I look back on a year which has seen the organisation face, and deal with, some setbacks, but yet move forward to develop and expand its role as an advocate for children’s play.

PlayBoard’s training section has delivered on two major pieces of work during the year which specifically target quality play provision and social inclusion in play.

The challenges of being able to secure core funding and encouraging Government and its constituent Departments, to accept their role in the proper finding of children’s play are still with us. Our Chief Executive, Marguerite, has endeavoured to keep these issues to the fore while also directing her energies to ensuring the proper and equitable distribution of monies from Peace II. She and her staff deserve to have their efforts recognised and this I do on behalf of the Board of Directors and all those who use and depend on their support and expertise. With our role as an IFB now in progress, we hope, in the coming year, to increase pressure on those whom we feel have a responsibility to ensure that play is at the top of everyone’s agenda. To do this, we will lobby government departments who, in their Programme for Government, have initially accepted play as part of the Programme but have allocated no resources towards play, or considered a policy statement on play. Part of this lobby will also seek to have PlayBoard’s role of working for the child’s right to play, recognised and properly funded to allow the development of this role, a development which will contribute to society at all levels – community, parents but more especially, children. Investing in children is investing in the health, welbeing and creative development of the whole community. I express my thanks to Marguerite and all the staff, who over the past year have done so much for PlayBoard and its members. Billy Boyd Chairman

hello m um 2

PathwayS to Excellence – changing children’S worldS through quality play PlayBoard’s quality assurance scheme, ‘Pathways to Excellence’, was developed in the past year and is a process for improving the quality of children’s play experiences in a range of play settings, to ensure the highest quality of play experiences for children. Pathways to Excellence builds on PlayBoard’s previous quality assurance scheme and a huge ‘thank you’ is extended to everyone who was part of the review process. The quality assurance scheme has been devised so that play services will be assessed across 11 distinct pathway areas, with two distinct levels of quality in place. The quality pathways are: • • • • • • • • • • •

The Children (NI) Order 1995 and associated regulations and guidance Policies and procedures Effective management committees Working with parents Promoting a child-centred service Promoting positive play opportunities A warm and caring environment Premises & facilities Holiday schemes Managing the finances Staff and volunteers

The Pathways to Excellence scheme will provide enormous benefits to a wide range of stakeholders and play providers. Most importantly, children and parents will benefit from play services that have been assessed and recognised as providing a quality provision. It is hoped that the pack will help raise the profile and professionalism of playwork and will emphasise the important contribution of playworkers in providing quality play services. Pathways to Excellence will assist in the creation and maintenance of quality play services that ensure the holistic, healthy development of children and take account of their varied, complex and multi-faceted play needs. The pack will help change children’s worlds through play.

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Play for All – IncluSive Play for PlayworkerS iS an accredited Open College Network courSe The Play for All training course was devised in partnership by PlayBoard, Barnardos, BIFHE and Belfast City Council, and aims to: • enable playworkers to develop skills, knowledge and confidence to include children with disabilities in play services • accredit playworkers’ knowledge, skills and experience in including children with disabilities in play provision

Training Team Over the past 12 months, the Training Team has achieved the following: • assisted 149 playwork candidates, with 58 successfully completing their NVQ award across both Level 2 and Level 3 • further developed cross-border links by participation in the Working Party for School-Age Childcare based in Dublin • provided training to afterschool clubs in Dublin, Bundoran and Bray

• facilitate the development of a group of trainers with disabilities. • continued to establish working partnerships with key agencies across the 0-14 services sector The project, which is being facilitated by Barnardos, is unique in that each partner organisation will deliver specific pieces of the training programme. Training will initially be provided in the Belfast City Council and Down District Council areas.

• completed modular programme for child protection training in conjunction with Southern Health & Social Services Board

‘Is Anyone Listening’? (a report prepared for Barnardos NI in May 2002 by QUB Childcare Research) highlighted that physical education and playing were the activities where most disabled children were likely to face exclusion. We hope that Play for All will address some of the underlying reasons for this and will make a difference. The Play for All partnership hopes to offer training throughout Northern Ireland and to all District Council areas in the future.

Training Matters

Training facilitieS and equipment hire

PlayBoard currently offer training on all aspects of children’s play including:• Introduction to Playwork (11 sessions) • NVQ Level 2 Playwork (35 sessions) • NVQ Level 3 Playwork (52 sessions)

Calendar of training events A ‘Calendar of Training Events’ is planned for the coming year, which will highlight the proposed courses for your area. Booking information and further details will be available from January 2003. Additional information on all courses is available from PlayBoard’s website and Head Office in Belfast. PlayBoard Training Rooms PlayBoard would like to enable other organisations to benefit from the excellent training facilities we have on site, therefore we are offering the training rooms for hire at the following rates: Training SuiteMembers: £20 per session/Non-Members: £25 per session (max. 60 participants- Morning, afternoon or evening sessions available) Board Room £5.00 per hour (max. 15 participants)

The training section at PlayBoard can tailor and deliver sessions or courses to meet your individual needs and requirements, as we work together to enhance the quality of children’s lives through play.

As • • • • • •

well as the following short courses:What is Play? • The Role of the Playworker Programme Planning • Games Equal Opportunities • Promoting Positive Relationships Arts & Crafts • Basic Administration Child Protection • Quality Assurance – Pathways to Excellence Top Play

back to School

Bookings can be made by contacting PlayBoard: Tel: 028 9080 3380 Fax: 028 9080 3381

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Out of School Hours Childcare Awards, Childcare PartnerShip Development Team

October 2001 – June 2002

Since the last annual review there have been considerable changes to this team, not least a change of name. With the renewal of contracts in April 2002 came a wider remit that included extended responsibility, thus the change from Out of School Hours Childcare Development to Childcare Partnership Development. This change also reflects the working relationship with each of the four Childcare Partnerships and the realisation that the posts are not linked to one specific funding stream, but are there to support the priorities of each Childcare Partnership.

Cairde Gaelscoil an Lonnain, Belfast .....................................................................................£ 37,000 Camowen Partnership, Omagh.............................................................................................£ 47,869 Carryduff Pre-School Playgroup............................................................................................£ 36,122 Club United, Derry...............................................................................................................£ 39,625 Little Villagers, Armagh ........................................................................................................£ 8,610 Oakleaf RCN, Magherafelt...................................................................................................£ 85,609 Oakwood Integrated P.S., Lisburn .........................................................................................£ 33,800 Roden Street Community, Belfast ...........................................................................................£ 76,500 Strangford and District Playgroup .........................................................................................£ 20,081 Suffolk Community Services, Belfast ......................................................................................£ 13,828 Early Years Company, Belfast................................................................................................£ 38,466 An Droichead Ltd., Belfast ....................................................................................................£ 19,200 Ashton Community Trust, Belfast............................................................................................£ 57,200 Atticall Childcare Ltd ............................................................................................................£ 28,800 Belleek Crossborder Childcare Co.........................................................................................£ 12,723 Cleenish Cross Community ...................................................................................................£ 42,667 Douglas Bridge Cross Community .........................................................................................£ 35,460 Down & Lisburn Trust ...........................................................................................................£ 95,550 Family Caring Centre, Antrim ...............................................................................................£ 54,000 Fivemiletown Community Development ..................................................................................£ 57,600 Jack Horner & Mother Goose, Ballycastle ..............................................................................£ 32,375 Kids Stop, Dungannon .........................................................................................................£ 23,531 Kidzone, Newry ..................................................................................................................£ 23,234 Little Villagers, Armagh ........................................................................................................£ 7,200 Mossley Afterschool Playcare................................................................................................£ 18,928 NIPPA, The Early Years Organisation ....................................................................................£ 138,157 Northern Ireland Childminding Association ...........................................................................£ 90,000 Playzone, Belfast..................................................................................................................£ 57,600 Rainbow Community Playgroup, Derry..................................................................................£ 83,234 Southern Health & Social Services.........................................................................................£ 50,400 Traad & Ballyronan Afterschool Club ....................................................................................£ 16,500 Zions Den Ltd., Lurgan .........................................................................................................£ 16,473 An Tearmann, Dungannon ...................................................................................................£ 38,400 Ardoyne Afterschool Club, Belfast .........................................................................................£ 76,644 Ballykeel Partnership, Ballymena...........................................................................................£ 28,800 Barnmeen Community Assoc., Newry ...................................................................................£ 23,781 Benburb Community Playgroup.............................................................................................£ 21,952 Bumbles Playgroup, Belfast ...................................................................................................£ 21,952 Clonard Monastery Youth Centre, Belfast...............................................................................£ 68,184 Crumlin Afterschool Club......................................................................................................£ 14,400 Fun Time Afterschool Club, Newry ........................................................................................£ 55,630 Galbally Youth & Community Assoc ......................................................................................£ 18,755 Gasyard Development Trust, Derry........................................................................................£ 63,529 Holy Trinity PTA, Cookstown .................................................................................................£ 39,900 Kidsunited, Armagh .............................................................................................................£ 25,700

One of the biggest challenges in the past year has been the management of the initial application stages for the capital fund, Building Quality Childcare. This New Opportunities Fund initiative has a £6 million budget for Northern Ireland, and will assist in developing both the quality and quantity of childcare places and eligible projects including new builds, refurbishment, renovation, quality improvements and mobile services. Each Childcare Partnership devised a portfolio which recommended the projects in their area meeting the priorities for the programme. Development staff worked closely with Partnership Co-ordinators and support staff to ensure those areas most in need of funding were identified, and with the Strategic Funding Panels to make recommendations. The process has only just begun for those groups included in the portfolios and 2003 will see the start of the capital work. The team has continued to assist groups to access funding from NOF’s Out of School Hours Childcare Initiative. With over £2 million awarded in the last financial year to more than 50 projects, there has been a tremendous effort to support the start-up process. Work with community groups through the application process, recruitment of staff, registration with Social Services and management of grants and projects has been ongoing, as has network and training events. The fund is due to close in February 2003 and there are a number of groups who are now ready to apply for this funding and create quality, affordable and accessible childcare places in their communities. Once again, the team is indebted to the Coordinators, Chairs and support staff from each of the four Childcare Partnerships and to the Belfast office of the New Opportunities Fund. With their assistance the team is on track to meet the targets set out in Children First, Northern Ireland’s Childcare Strategy.

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Finance & Monitoring Team

The PlayCare Initiative

The Finance & Monitoring Team carry out invaluable work in PlayBoard assisting and supporting both project teams internally and projects externally who receive funding associated with PlayBoard.

As an Intermediary Funding Body, PlayBoard’s PlayCare Team assisted in administering the first round of a £3 million package from the Special EU Programme for Peace & Reconciliation to PlayClubs offering out-ofschool play provision for children. Under Peace I, PlayBoard funded around 100 clubs, benefiting 2000 children, employing over 250 playworkers and supporting almost 200 NVQs in Playwork. IFB status under Peace II allows PlayBoard to continue promoting this work by supporting existing PlayClubs and helping establish new provision.

The team also provides assistance with funding applications and administers PlayBoard’s income including the many grants, awards and tenders that PlayBoard is successful in bidding for and negotiating. The team has continued to finalise grants under Peace I and are currently progressing the final claims and release of final payments on behalf of the Department of Employment & Learning for GAP funding. As an Intermediary Funding Body for Peace II, Measure 1.5, Positive Action for Women, Sustaining the PlayCare Initiative, there has been extensive work in administering Peace II with the Special European Union Programmes Body. Peace II awards were made by the Area Childcare Partnerships in April 2002. The Monitoring Team held 10 training workshops during the month of May in various locations throughout Northern Ireland. The aim of the workshops was to train the successful projects in the financial requirements of the European Structural Funds and to meet the Monitoring Team. Feedback on the workshops has been very positive.

PlayBoard held a formal launch at its headquarters office in Belfast of Measure 1.5: Positive Action for Women on Monday 14th January. John McKinney of the Special EU Programmes Body and George O’Doherty from the Department of Employment & Learning were the guests of honour along with representatives from groups who had submitted expression of interest forms. The following details the organisations who were successful in receiving grants under the first round of funding. A further call to this Measure will be announced in early 2003 Eastern Board 174 Trust

Belfast

£ 42,213.00

Tullymore Afterschools, Upper Andersonstown Community Forum

Belfast

£ 45,190.00

123 House

Belfast

£ 45,899.00

Beechmount Community Project

Belfast

£ 22,989.08

Downpatrick

£ 39,497.00

Windsor Women’s Centre

Belfast

£ 27,751.00

A huge ‘thank you’ goes out to everyone who has assisted PlayBoard in administering this Measure, including the Childcare Partnerships and their Strategic Funding Panels, fellow IFBs, the SEUPB and our sponsor Department, DEL.

Short Strand Community Forum

Belfast

£ 39,497.00

Muppets, Poleglass Residents Association

Belfast

£ 39,497.00

Newtownards

£ 107,041.00

A special acknowlegement is also due to Stephen Rainey from DEL.

Crossgar Community Centre

Killyleagh

£ 39,497.00

Whiterock Crèche Association

Belfast

£ 39,497.00

An Droichead Ltd

Belfast

£ 39,497.00

Corpus Christi Services

Belfast

£ 53,386.00

Newcastle

£ 14,671.25

Careers ‘n’ Kids

Belfast

£ 11,737.00

Corner House Cross Community Centre

Belfast

£

Cairde Bunscoil Phonbal Feirste

Belfast

£ 40,515.41

Ashton Community Trust

Belfast

£ 20,697.00

Vine Centre

Belfast

£ 11,737.00

Bright Sparks Afterschools at St George’s

Belfast

£ 39,497.00

Ardmonagh Family & Community Group

Belfast

£

Kids Club, Oasis Caring in Action

Belfast

£ 39,497.00

Monitoring for Peace II has now commenced and each project has been allocated a Monitoring Officer. There will be a second call for Measure 1.5, Sustaining the PlayCare Initiative, early next year. The amount of money PlayBoard is able to approve has been reduced substantially because of the revision of the Global Grant by the Special EU Programmes Body. As a result of this each Partnership area will be asked to identify priority areas to target in the call.

The Scout Hall, Downpatrick Scout Unit

Northern Ireland Child Minding Association

Small Frys, Newcastle YMCA

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3,999.81

8,802.75

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The PlayCare Initiative

money

Out 2 Play

Northern Board Ballee Community Association Ballinascreen After Schools Club

Ballymena

£ 39,497.00

Magherafelt

£ 50,343.33

Focus on Family

Coleraine

£

Gort Kids Afterschools Club

Cookstown

£ 39,497.00

Portrush

£ 28,809.00

Slieve Gallion Rural Development Association

Magherafelt

£ 26,693.00

Kidz Lodge

Magherafelt

£ 17,605.50

Loughgiel Community Association

Ballymena

£ 39,497.00

Skools Out Afterschools Club

Killyleagh

£ 17,605.50

Summerfield Afterschool Club

Ballymena

£ 40,555.00

The K Club, Portrush Community Development Group

9,603.00

Southern Board Dungannon

£ 39,497.00

Kids United

Portadown

£ 23,474.00

Kidz Patch

Lurgan

£ 26,693.00

Kidszone Afterschool Club

Bessbrook

£ 39,497.00

Scallywags Club, Gortgonis Afterschools

Coalisland

£ 39,050.84

Augher

£ 45,130.00

Western Board Rascals Playstation

Enniskillen

£ 39,497.00

L.C.D.I. Afterschools Club

Limavady

£ 39,497.00

Kesh

£ 26,693.00

Omagh

£ 76,725.00

Derry

£ 26,693.00

Active Allsorts

Irvinestown

£ 39,497.00

Sugar & Spice Out of School Club

Drumquin

£ 26,693.00

Kesh Development Association Camowen Smart Kids Bright Ideas, Strathfoyle Development Trust

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Physical play has a direct impact on fitness, co-ordination, strengthening bones, aiding emotional health, increasing the capacity of the cardiovascular system and developing motor skills. Research into children’s mental health has also shown a link between restrictions on children’s access to challenging unsupervised play and rising levels of stress and mental health problems. The outdoor environment is becoming more and more hostile for children. Heavy traffic levels and increased urbanisation mean that, in many cases, the outdoor environment is no longer safe for the adults and children who live there. In addition, publicity surrounding the recent disappearance and abduction of children has served to fuel parent’s concerns about the whereabouts of their children outside the home. Combined, these factors lead to children spending more and more time indoors, in restricted spaces, in front of televisions and computers. This inactivity is one of the contributing factors to childhood obesity and heart disease.

Learning Zone, Dungannon Play Club

Woodland Out of School Club, Acorn Women’s Group

Out 2 Play is a play project launched by PlayBoard this year, and is funded through the Community Foundation for NI under the DHSSPS Investing for Healthier Communities Grant. PlayBoard is concerned at the restrictions placed on children’s ability to access quality physical play opportunities.

Out 2 Play is PlayBoard’s response to the need to safeguard, encourage and initiate physical play opportunities, specifically for the 7 – 12 year old age group. Over the next two years, 200 playworkers across Northern Ireland will be able to access a free, nine week training programme which promotes peer education through the use of an ideas and training pack and a resource bag full of materials to use with children. The training will address issues and skills such as: • • • • • • • •

co-operative games traditional games from around the world play in the forest and on the beach parachute games circus play planning for physical play assessing children’s needs the role of the playworker

The training will empower community play projects to assess the physical play needs of their children and enable them to develop a plan to meet those needs.

The PlayCare Initiative

Out 2 Play will specifically target playworkers from settings that work with disadvantaged children, including those from an ethnic minority background and disabled children.

We wish all the clubs every success. PlayBoard will be employing Sustainable Development Officers to support both successful and unsuccessful clubs to devise strategies to ensure that quality provisions exists beyond the current, limited, funding streams.

The project is being led by Play Development Officer, Eva Kane, who is based at PlayBoard’s head office in Belfast.

happy day S 11


Out of School HourS Learning – launched thiS year!

Playday 2002

“It should be noted that children at play are not playing about; their games should be

On Wednesday 7th August, children from 17 of PlayBoard’s member groups came together in Newcastle, county Down to celebrate National Playday, an event celebrated each year throughout the UK. The theme for this year’s event was ’Take a Chance on Play’, and was chosen to enable children to explore risk and challenge.

seen as their most serious minded activity” Montaigne (1533-1592) PlayBoard have long advocated that children learn through play. Given the right environment, children can develop confidence, self-esteem, social skills and increased motivation to learn. PlayClubs and their workers can create this environment, and to further this work, PlayBoard was successful in obtaining funding from the New Opportunities Fund for Out of School Hours Learning. This exciting new initiative will involve six of our member groups and their named primary or secondary school working alongside PlayBoard to promote ‘learning’. The aim of the project is to encourage children to learn through the medium of play in a fun and challenging environment. Both playworkers and teachers will be involved in drawing up the programmes, which will allow children to develop skills and selfconfidence and therefore achieve better learning. Shankill Women’s Centre, Manor Street After School Club, Glen Parent & Youth, Focus on Family, Gortgonis Community House and Strathroy are the six member groups who have been doing a lot of groundwork to get their projects up and running before the end of the year. The groups all have their own ideas of what they want to do as part of the project, including first aid courses for children, information technology, fun reading clubs and mentoring groups. The groups are supported by Angela Stallard, the Play Development Officer, who is responsible for co-ordinating this three year project. Angela has been with PlayBoard since 1996, formerly employed as PlayCare Development Officer in the Eastern Board . PlayBoard as an agency is committed to promoting children’s play. Play is the means by which children learn, and learning is not just about what is taught in classrooms. The Out of School Hours Learning Project will clearly demonstrate this, and lots of children will have lots of fun! “Play is early lifehood education at it’s best”

On the day, around 500 children gave the ‘thumbs up’ to adventurous and stimulating play opportunities at Greenhill YMCA in Newcastle, county Down. The event to mark Playday in Northern Ireland was organised in partnership by PlayBoard, Greenhill YMCA and NIPPA, the Early Years Organisation. In a society where children have increasingly fewer opportunities to access outdoor play, the Playday event allowed children to access a wide range of fun, challenging, stimulating and age-appropriate play activities, including: • • • • • •

archery bouncy castle environmental activities initiative games it’s a knock-out water slide

• • • • • •

low-level ropes course orienteering parachute games scavenger hunts treasure hunts group competitions

The event was a huge success, both in terms of the children’s obvious enjoyment but also in raising awareness of the need to offer children challenging play opportunities that provide an element of risk. PlayBoard will continue to urge parents and providers to balance the need to keep children safe with the need to let them learn by taking risks. Other events to mark National Playday included a Playday in Ballycastle funded by the Northern Childcare Partnership and an event hosted, organised and funded by Belfast City Council, Community and Leisure Services Next year, PlayBoard hopes to promote Playday events in each county in Northern Ireland. This year’s successful events continue to prove that PLAY IS FUN for ALL.

Playgrounds on Demand - 2nd Edition 1991

Schools out Wahey playdayS 12

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PlayBoard InfluenceS Policy and LobbieS

Child in the City – First European CongreSS &

Government in PartnerShip

Trade Show. Bruge, Cultural Capital 2002

PlayBoard has had another busy year, with policy developments in particular at the top of the agenda.

The most important activity that city children should be able to develop is play! ‘While playing, the street becomes their street, the square their square, the district their district, the city their city and their domain. The children do not take over the city, they just become part of it. If we are concerned about the future of the city, we must consider how to involve children in its network, and in its economic and social life. And the best way to involve children is through play – children are really experts at playing. The city must create space for them to stimulate their expertise and it can then also profit from this expertise.

As in previous years, the prospect of a Children’s Commissioner for Northern Ireland has been something of a double-edged sword – great for our children and young people, and a fantastic result after years of work but still capable of generating huge amounts of work. Nonetheless, we are proud to be have been involved in a process that will culminate in the appointment of a Commissioner (in the new year) who will provide a genuine voice for children and someone who will increase the profile of children’s rights within society and the political structures. The coming year looks to be just as busy, with informal and formal consultation exercises due to take place around the development of the Northern Ireland Children’s Strategy, a document that will help improve the standing of children in our society in general. Representation on the All Party Children’s Group at Stormont, the Putting Children First campaigning alliance and the Non-Government Organisation (NGO) Forum continues and PlayBoard uses its position on these groups to ensure children’s play needs are fully considered at the highest level, and particularly in the Children’s Strategy. Although time consuming, the experience has given PlayBoard the welcome opportunity of working in partnership with a number of other organisations with an interest in children’s issues and the chance to develop relationships with Assembly Members and the staff of the Children & Young People’s Unit at Stormont. PlayBoard is the regional representative on the Children’s Play Policy Forum hosted by the Department of Culture, Media & Sports in London and is SPRITO’s representative in Northern Ireland. PlayBoard is a member of of many likeminded organisations including, The Professional Institute of Leisure and Amenity Management (ILAM), the four Childcare Partnerships, Children’s Play Council, Childcare NI, EGSA, NICVA, Kids Club Network, Kids Active, Healthy Cities, Rural Community Network and works closely with NIPPA, NICMA, Youthnet and ENSAC (European Network for School Aged Childcare).

Taking Forward Effective Children’S PolicieS This conference was organised by Public Policy Seminars University of London, and held in the Stormont Hotel. PlayBoard presented a paper on the key role for the Voluntary Sector in any Effective Children’s Policy. Copies of all papers presented are available from PlayBoard.

The challenge of the congress was to explore and learn how to integrate the playing child into the city. How do we create the space and the time our children need? How do we plan and manage the integration of environments for children to play, learn and participate in communities? Making the city child and play friendly is a challenge for politicians, but also for educators, practitioners working with children, designers of playing equipment, for urban planners, workers involved in play and prevention programmes, and community development. The aim of this congress was to explore and develop a new integral approach for the child at play in the city. It provided an opportunity to share good practice, but also to explore key issues affecting the creation of child friendly cities’. Key questions addressed: • What needs to happen in policy and practice to effectively address issues affecting the well being of children in the city? • What needs to happen to enhance the inclusion and participation of children in the everyday life and affairs of their communities? • What are the tensions and conflicts that need to be addressed between children and adults and between the agenda of communities and local officials? • What are the values and approaches necessary to underpin a spirit of social responsibility and commitment between children, communities and local authorities? • What are the dilemmas and possibilities of widening opportunities for children to play a more active and central role in developing, implementing and monitoring policy, programme and practice initiatives?

eS c i o v S n e childr matter 14

PlayBoard presented a paper on Public Space Facilitating and Constraining Children’s Play - Children Reclaim the Streets? Further information and an extensive range of papers from the conference is available from PlayBoard.

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Information Unit

Northern Ireland ASsociation of PlayworkerS (NIAP)

The focus on policy developments and the administration of Peace II and launch of new projects has meant that something has had to give and members will notice that they have not received our quarterly newsletter, ‘At Play!’, for some time. This is something that we will rectify in the new year and whilst apologising to members, we thank you for your continued support.

“The greatest thing in the world is to know how to be oneself” Montaque (1533-1592)

The PlayBoard reference library has undergone yet another transformation. It is almost complete, and we are now able to provide users with relaxed and comfortable study facilities in our dedicated library, along with access to a computer and Grant Tracker. We look forward to welcoming you to the premises.

Website PlayBoard is proud to reveal our new child (and adult) friendly interactive website. The website address is www.playboard.org and features a dedicated children’s section and direct email contact for staff members. We look forward to receiving your feedback on the website. The website has been sponsored by the European Union Programme for Peace and Reconciliation and DHSS PS.

PlayBoard’s commitment to the ‘child’s right to play’ is the cornerstone of its existence. This is evidenced through the projects it is involved in, in campaigning for children’s rights etc, in training and equipping playworkers, and in its commitment to quality play provision. The Northern Ireland Association of Playworkers (NIAP) supports these aims in promoting the importance and value of play. However, our main objectives are to promote the important role of the playworker in enhancing the opportunities for children to play, and to support, promote and assist those who provide play opportunities for children and young people. High quality play provision can be difficult to define but the new ‘Pathways to Excellence’ pack PlayBoard has produced will help promote good practice throughout the profession. Yet we need to realise the pack will only be as good as the playworker using it and good playworkers need support and recognition. NIAP aims to develop Playwork as a nationally recognised profession, to enable the views of playworkers to be represented and to set and monitor standards for employment. The bond between PlayBoard and NIAP, and the use of the quality assurance pack, can only serve to increase awareness of play as being fundamental to children’s overall development, and of the expertise of the people who work in this profession.

Coming Soon… The Children’s Play Forum! PlayBoard’s ability to consult directly with children, and represent their expressed views accurately is limited, as up until now we have only had direct contact with those who work with children, and not children themselves. This was most evident during the consultation exercise around the creation of an office of children’s commissioner. PlayBoard is addressing this by committing itself to developing the Children’s Play Forum. Children from all over Northern Ireland will be invited to join through our member and affiliated groups. The Children’s Play Forum will be supported and facilitated by PlayBoard staff, who will educate and inform the children about issues impacting on their ability to access quality play services. The Children’s Play Forum will allow us to consult better with children in the future, respond to future consultation exercises (eg. that around the imminent NI Children’s Strategy) and represent their views and opinions both directly and accurately.

Barbara McIlwrath Vice Chair, PlayBoard Chairperson, NIAP

Recent research by the Carnegie United Kingdom Trust (www.carnegie-youth.org.uk) ‘Measuring the Magic’ concludes that young people are being more involved in public decision-making but are having little impact. PlayBoard wants to help change this with the Children’s Play Forum. “Grown-ups never understand anything for themselves, and it is tiresome for children to be always and forever explaining things to them” Antoine de Saint-Exupery (1900-44)

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Notes

bye bye

see you at www.playb oard.org

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PlayBoard Staff Team Marguerite Hunter Blair ...................Chief Executive Janette McKnight.............................Finance Manager Joan Blain ......................................Training Team Leader Caroline Butler................................Administration Assistant Barbara Hawkes .............................Childcare Partnership Development Officer Claire Houston................................Receptionist/Telephonist Eva Kane........................................Out 2 Play Development Officer Kim Leebody...................................Childcare Partnership Development Officer (on secondment to ECP) Sonia McAllister..............................Finance & Administration Assistant Seamus McCann.............................Finance & Monitoring Officer Joan McGrath.................................Childcare Partnership Development Officer Joanne Magee ................................Childcare Partnership Development Officer Maura Moore .................................Finance & Monitoring Officer Jennifer Murphy..............................PlayCare Development Officer Ruth Murphy...................................Finance & Monitoring Officer Ciara Murray .................................Personal Assistant to Chief Executive Lisa O’Connor ................................Administration Assistant Caroline O’Kane.............................Information & Campaigns Officer Jacqueline O’Loughlin .....................Training Development Officer Anne Raffferty ................................PlayCare Development Officer Angela Stallard...............................Play Development Officer (OOSHL) Mairead Watters.............................Administration Assistant Dolores Wilson ...............................Childcare Partnership Development Officer

PlayBoard Board of DirectorS Billy Boyd .......................................Chairman Amanda Lilley.................................Treasurer Barbara McIlwrath ..........................Vice Chair Paul Murphy, Gerard McGlynn, Peter McCartney, Bill Shaw, Ryan Williams, Mary Begley & Janis McKenna

Contact DetailS PlayBoard (Head Office) 59/65 York Street Belfast BT15 1AA

PlayBoard (Irvinestown Office) Market Yard Mill Street Irvinestown BT94 4GR

Tel: 028 9080 3380 Fax: 028 9080 3381

Tel/Fax: 028 6862 8825

PlayBoard (Newry Office) Ballybot House 28 Cornmarket Newry BT35 8BG

Department of Health, Social Services & Public Safety An Roinn Sláinte, Seirbhísí Sóisialta agus Sábháilteacht Phoiblí

PlayBoard, 59-65 York Street, Belfast BT15 1AA Tel: 028 9080 3380 Fax: 028 9080 3381 Email: information@playboard.co.uk

PlayBoard Annual review 2002  

Published by PlayBoard

PlayBoard Annual review 2002  

Published by PlayBoard

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