Play Wales Annual Report for the year ended 31 March 2008
Welcome Play Wales/Chwarae Cymru is the national organisation for childrenâ€™s play in Wales; an independent charity funded by the Welsh Assembly Government. Our aim is to act as a champion for childrenâ€™s play; to increase awareness and understanding of the critical importance of play in the health and well-being of children.
Directorâ€™s Report Chairpersonâ€™s Report Development Team BIG Lottery Information Guidance and Networking Workforce Development Playwork Principles into Practice Financial Review Future Plans Play Wales Team Contact details
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Director’s report Welcome to Play Wales’ first annual review. We are now approaching our tenth year as a charity, and children’s play in Wales is in a position we never dreamed possible a decade ago. Over the past year Play Wales has seen growth and development thanks to a lot of hard work and tenacity from the staff and all those who have come along on the journey with us. However the hard work won’t be over until every child in Wales has everyday access to quality play opportunities as a matter of entitlement. We will move closer to this goal if we continue to have the notable successes that we experienced this year. On Playday (1 August 2007) Jane Hutt AM, Minister for Children, Education and Lifelong Learning and Skills announced funding for Play Wales to undertake the development of a National Centre for Playwork Education and Training in Wales. Over the next three years the centre will support the playwork sector to deliver accessible and quality services to children. It should also contribute to an improvement in the status of playwork. In January we secured the opportunity to host the 50th anniversary International Play Association Conference in Wales in 2011. This event will be a superb opportunity to make international contacts and to learn from the research and practice of other countries. It will also provide the chance to show-case play provision in Wales and for delegates to experience our ever-expanding play sector. 4
Also as a result of the BIG Lottery Fund’s Child’s Play programme, new play associations are being formed and some existing ones are being strengthened, or are extending their remit to cover neighbouring local authority areas. This has been a huge achievement for Wales; previously the infrastructure for play provision development had been patchy and inconsistent. Up until now some areas had the benefit of strong and active local associations, while others struggled. Now we have the chance to develop existing relationships and forge new ones in a joined up approach which can only benefit children and the children’s play sector in Wales. This annual review will go into more detail about the work which Play Wales has carried out over the past year. Many of our successes would not have been possible without the ongoing support of our funders, sponsors and supporters. I would like to personally thank all of you for your friendship and commitment to the organisation over the years, it is greatly appreciated. The awareness of the value of play has undoubtedly risen over the last few years and I do believe we are making some progress in our aim of making Wales a place where we recognise and provide for every child’s play needs. Mike Greenaway
Chairperson’s report The principal activity of Play Wales is influencing the policy, strategic planning and practice of all agencies and organisations that have an interest in and responsibility for children’s play. This has been achieved this year by providing information, technical advice, and guidance relating to play provision and workforce development; helping to identify needs and contributing to the increasing recognition of the profound importance of play as a critical component of children’s development. Play Wales has continued to be a critical friend to the Welsh Assembly Government this year and we were delighted when they announced that they would be providing an extra million pounds per year in the Cymorth Fund so that more children can access inclusive play provision. In late 2007 Play Wales provided advice on inclusive play and took part in a reception at the Senedd where Assembly Members met disabled children and young people and talked to representatives of the organisations involved. We hope that this extra funding will help provide disabled children and young people and their families with greater access to quality play and leisure opportunities. Another highlight for Play Wales this year was the BIG Lottery Child’s Play funding - it will make a significant impact on play provision in Wales. Local authority and voluntary sector partners will now have to review existing provision, identify any gaps and work out what might be needed in the future to support the aims of the Welsh Assembly Government’s Play Policy or local play strategies. Play Wales will continue to help build the capacity of local play partnerships and support them to maintain and build upon the momentum for change that is now underway. It is fantastic that we are now working towards quality play provision as a matter of entitlement rather than one of discretion and hopefully this will lead to real changes in play for all children in Wales in the near future. Margaret Jervis O.B.E. 5
Development Team To maintain and ensure appropriate representation and consultation Play Wales was involved in a variety of Waleswide working groups, predominately funded by the Welsh Assembly, to ensure that children’s play acquires the status it deserves:
• Physical Activity Network • Early Years and Childcare Group • Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales (CSSIW) under 8’s Provider’s Group • Under 8’s Regulation and National Minimum Standards Group • Fforwm Magu Plant • National Association of Toy and Leisure Libraries Welsh Development Committee • Childcare Task Force • The Director was a trustee of Children in Wales and Clybiau Plant Cymru Kids’ Clubs • Planning for Health Conference Steering Group • Welsh Assembly Government Play Policy Implementation Plan Monitoring Group • Guidelines and Standards for Actions within the Play Policy Implementation Plan Advisory Group • Participation Consortium 0 – 10’s Participation Sub Group • Community Focused Schools Co-ordinators Meeting
Play Wales has supported the development of a strategic approach to children’s play through:
Play Wales has supported children’s play and play provision at local level by:
• The design and delivery of a playday seminar. •
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• Ensuring that local community groups are signposted to and supported appropriately by local support networks. We estimate The development, maintenance and support of the Playwork that we received and responded to more than 1000 telephone and Development Officer Network. This network has a membership of email queries from parents, elected members, schools and small over 40 professionals involved in play provision development. organisations during the last year. Membership on 18 strategic play working groups throughout • Providing non-managerial professional development support to Wales. Play Development Officers throughout Wales. Supporting the development of a federation of providers of • Delivering presentations regarding planning for play in local resources for play. authority areas/communities. Supporting the development of technical advice, guidance and • Providing support for voluntary sector play projects. safety matters specific to adventure playgrounds.
Play Wales was involved in a variety of UK wide policy groups, such as: • Children’s Play Information Service Advisory Group • National Play Safety Forum • Register of Playground Inspectors International • Children’s Play Policy Forum • Children’s Play Council
Play Wales responded to a wide range of consultations including; • FIT (Fields in Trust) Planning and Design for Outdoor Sport and Play • The proposal to distribute unclaimed assets • Welsh Index of Multiple Deprivation (WIMD) consultation on proposed indicators for updating WIMD • The proposal to provide additional protection for recreational space • The Wales Housing Standard for Managing Anti-social behaviour
• National Playday Steering Group • Five Nations Play Policy Summit 7
BIG Lottery In August 2006 Play Wales was awarded a contract by the BIG Lottery Fund to help deliver the Child’s Play programme. Play Wales has supported a strategic response to the Child’s Play programme through: • The production of State of Play 2006 (a review of how Cymorth play theme funding was spent during 2006). Play Wales undertook a national survey of Framework Partnerships to ascertain the State of Play 2006 in Wales. • The production of an appendix to State of Play 2006 providing information as to how the additional funding for play facilities for disabled children was employed, to highlight issues which need to be addressed. • Organising a seminar for key stakeholders, ‘Introducing and Providing Risk in Play’, to disseminate information and share good practice.
• Continued facilitation and support of 10 regional partnerships (working groups) to submit applications to BIG • Continued support for nine successful applicants and one deferred applicant. • Publicising the service through dedicated web pages, Play for Wales magazine and other publications, and the publication of an information leaflet.
Information Guidance and Networking Play Wales’ Information Team has produced and disseminated a wide variety of information over the past year, including:
• Provision of a bilingual website that is regularly updated with items of interest to playworkers and play providers in Wales and which has a members area.
(www.playwales.org.uk) • Quarterly publication of Play for Wales magazine. • Review and publication of fact sheets and web pages on a range of topics including Food, play and playwork. • Publication of The Venture: a case study of an adventure playground. • Production and marketing of a campaign t-shirt. • Recruitment of an additional Information Assistant. • Expansion of Play Wales library offering the most comprehensive resource of play and playwork materials in Wales; currently we hold approximately 1,100 reference books. • Editing, proofreading, managing the design and supporting the development of new playwork materials. • Promotion of play through the media and at national events, such as Playday and the national Eisteddfod.
Publications • Contribution to the Playday Information pack. • Contribution to conferences and events in Wales and across the UK.
The Venture: a case study of an adventure playground (2007).
• Dissemination of publications: The First Claim... a framework for playwork quality assessment and The First Claim - Desirable Processes.
This book examines the long-lived success of The Venture, an adventure playground in urban Wrexham. Written by Fraser Brown, Reader at Leeds Metropolitan University, from conversations with Malcolm King (a founder and current manager of The Venture) and Ben Tawil (one of its recent playworkers). Extracts can be accessed at:
• Regular contact with Members of Parliament and Assembly Members.
• Developing a successful bid to host the 2011 International Play Association conference in Wales.
Play Wales has provided: •
Seminars and conferences on topics such as: -- Spirit of Adventure Play national playwork conference (150 delegates). -- ‘Mud and Sparks’, playing with the elements training (50 delegates). -- Foundation Phase training for early years practitioners (300 delegates). -
Three Professional development seminars - Adventure Playworkers Skill Share, Introducing and Providing Risk in Play, Recharge - (191 delegates).
‘Play, Playwork and Food: how to include food in the play setting’ (2008). This briefing sheet provides playworkers, play providers and others with a model of how to include food in the play setting in a manner that supports the Playwork Principles and the National Assembly for Wales Play Policy. The paper can be accessed at: www.playwales.org.uk/page.asp?id=67. 11
Over the last 12 months Play Wales has: • Provided significant support to SkillsActive, the sector skills council for playwork, including the delivery of the UK strategy, Quality Training, Quality Play and the development of a sector qualification strategy for playwork in Wales. • Contributed to the development of a new Council Structure, Playwork Education and Training Council (PETC) and PETC Wales. • Maintained a strong relationship with Wales Youth Agency/Welsh Assembly Government Education Training Standards Committee to ensure a peer-led endorsement system. • Supported University College Swansea to develop a postgraduate course in playwork. • Continued support to North East Wales Institute (Glyndŵr University) to develop a foundation degree.
Play Wales’ Workforce Development team has continued to support and contribute towards playwork education training and workforce development in Wales
• Established the National Education and Training centre for Wales, Playwork Wales, recruited a Manager and support staff, established the National Centre Committee and recruited the development of a web-based learning interactive platform. • Developed and piloted a radical suite of Level 2 playwork qualifications - training in excess of 600 learners. • Trained 25 new assessors, and 30 new trainers, including a 7302 City and Guilds qualification. • Established a Trainer and Assessor Support Network. • Supported the development and delivery of a CWLWM conference. • Represented play providers and playworkers offering expert advice, guidance, support, networking opportunities and conferences related to play, play policy, play provision and workforce development.
Play Wales is developing a new suite of qualifications known as ‘Playwork: Principles into Practice’ or ‘P3’. The level 2 course (similar to GCSE level) has been developed and piloted, and is now available as a qualification on the Qualifications Credit Framework, endorsed by SkillsActive, the Sector Skills Council for playwork.The course comprises an Award, Certificate and Diploma, with specially designed learning materials available for each part. The development and piloting of Level 2 was funded by the European Social Fund as part of the CWLWM partnership. Funding and piloting of the course ended in December 2007, but the qualification is still available for delivery across Wales. To support and enhance the course materials, Play Wales has commissioned a film of all kinds of children engaging in freely chosen play, titled Pushing Eddie in the Nettles with Connor. Green Bay Media, one of Wales’ leading film producers, shot the film during the Summer and Autumn of 2006 in locations across Wales, and it has been available to trainers of the new course since January 2007. This new model for training will raise the standard of playwork practice and act as a quality benchmark for other providers throughout Wales and beyond. It will challenge all playworkers, playwork trainers and play provision developers to consider how best to improve the quality of their playwork training and practice. 13
Financial Review Principal Funding Sources During the year Play Wales raised its income principally from the Welsh Assembly Government, ESF (European Social Funding) – Cwlwm project (‘Childcare Wales Learning & Working Mutually’ a Partnership of organisations with a shared focus within the childcare sector), the BIG Lottery, the annual ‘Spirit’ Conference, various seminars, consultancy and advice, inspection fees and membership fees. The Core funding from WAG is a major source of revenue, which has ensured the implementation of the work programme by employing staff and the associated operational costs.
Reserves Statement Play Wales intends to maintain the reserves level of at least 3 months annual expenditure, currently approximately £268k The financial reserves are set aside to ensure financial stability for staff and its members and to ensure that the current activities would be maintained in the event of a significant drop in funding. The current level of unrestricted reserve is currently running at £276k, which meets the target set.
The current level of total reserves is £320k, restricted funds of £(4k), unrestricted funds of £276k and a designated reserve of £48k: a payroll reserve set aside to ensure funds were set aside as per the agreement with our payroll provider to hold one’ month’s salary cost. This has been increased by £10k this year.
Investment Policy The trustees regularly review the amount that the organisation requires to ensure that they are adequate to fulfil its continuing obligations. Currently the charity takes a cautious approach to investing, adopting a short term, low risk policy, interest bearing 14 day deposit account which attracts approximately 5.1% return.
Future Plans Play Wales will consistently work to promote children’s play at every level, act as an advocate for children and their play needs and ensure a strategic national focus on play across divisions.
Significant activities and services that will contribute to the achievement of the stated objectives include: • Continued development of the website and development of Information Services • A quarterly magazine • A programme of 8 conferences, workshops, events and seminars • Contribution to the development of meaningful, appropriate local strategies in each of the 22 Welsh local authorities areas • maintain memberships and merging existing groups • Contribute to the implementation of the UK Playwork Education and Training Strategy • Development of Play Wales’ Membership and increase new members by 20% • Supporting a strategic approach to play at local authority level, to enable appropriate response and the most effective funding applications to Big Lottery ‘child’s play’ programme
Play Wales has been chosen to host the next International Play Association conference in Wales in 2011. The organisation will be working together with partners and colleagues to make this an exciting, vibrant, interesting and memorable event. This is an opportunity to bring together play providers, practitioners, theorists and researchers and to showcase the policy and practical work that happens in the UK. The venue will be Cardiff City Hall as it stands at the heart of the capital city and we will have exclusive use of the building for the whole week. The conference will be held Monday 4 – Friday 8 July 2011. At the moment Play Wales are still in the early stages of planning, but there is already a whole bank of ideas that will hopefully make this one of the most memorable conferences that the IPA has ever held.
Play Wales’ Team National Office
Mike Greenaway - Director Marianne Mannello - Policy Officer Tillie Mobbs - Policy Officer Michelle Jones - Development Officer Sarah Southern - Development Officer Gill Evans - Information Officer Kathy Muse - Office Manager Jane Hawkshaw - Playwork Wales National Centre Manager Richard Trew - Project Manager, CWLWM Playwork Training Project Jacky Jenkins - Finance Officer Agii Hennessey - Finance Assistant Angharad Wyn Jones - Information Assistant Kate Barron - Administrative Assistant Mel Welch - Administrative Assistant Aled Morris - Administrative Assistant
North Wales Office Martin King-Sheard - Development Officer Annette Hennessey - Administrative Assistant
Organisational Structure The Board of Trustees administers the charity. The Director is responsible to the Board of Trustees for the day to day managment of the organisation.
Membership Play Wales is a membership organisation. Membership is open to organisations and individuals from voluntary, statutory and independent sectors. The membership fees for 2008 are: Individual: £10 Organisations - one full-time member of staff or fewer: £25 International: £25 Organisations - more than one full-time member of staff: £50 Commercial/private: £75 Local Authority: £100 To register for membership please visit: www.playwales.org.uk/register.asp 17
Contact us... Play Wales National Office Play Wales Baltic House Mount Stuart Square Cardiff Wales CF10 5FH Telephone: (029) 2048 6050 Fax: (029) 2048 9359 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Play Wales North Office Play Wales Tai Tywyn Business Centre Sandy Lane Prestatyn Denbighshire LL19 7SF Telephone: (01745) 851 816 Fax: (01745) 851 517 Email: email@example.com