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Play Wales Annual Report for the year ended 31 March 2011

www.playwales.org.uk


Welcome Play Wales/Chwarae Cymru is the national organisation for children’s play in Wales; an independent charity funded by the Welsh Government. Our aim is to act as a champion for children’s play; to increase awareness and understanding of the critical importance of play in the health and wellbeing of children.


Contents

Chairperson’s report Director’s report Play provision and development Information, guidance and networking Workforce development Financial review Future plans IPA 2011 Play Wales team Contact details

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Chairperson’s report Since devolution Play Wales has worked closely with the Welsh Government in developing policies that meet the play needs of the children of Wales. Play Wales has continued throughout the year in its key role to provide expert support to community groups, organisations, ministerial groups and local government. The most significant recent highlight (albeit in this financial year) has been Play Wales’ hosting of the 18th triennial International Play Association conference. The opportunity to host the conference was a singular honour, and in no small part was a reflection of how Play Wales is viewed by the international community, and the regard in which the Welsh Government is held. This was clearly demonstrated when an International Play Association Right to Play Award was awarded to Wales; accepted by the First Minister for Wales Carwyn Jones AM when he opened the conference. Wales is the first country to receive this recognition and it is a testimony to the work of all those that are striving to make Wales a place where children’s play is provided for and valued. Both at a local and national level it is important to receive quality information and the Communications team at Play Wales, have more than succeeded; being recognised nationally and internationally as providing information which is accessible and engaging on a regular basis.

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The development of a highly skilled workforce is vital if Wales is to see continued growth in quality play provision for the children of Wales. Play Wales dealt with a number of challenges during the year to ensure there are training opportunities for playwork staff at all levels. There was disappointment in having to close Playwork Wales (the national centre for playwork education and training) due to lack of funding. However, working with partners such as YMCA we have ensured that the training of the workforce continues, albeit at a reduced capacity I would like to pay tribute and offer the thanks of the Board of Trustees to the committed, passionate and dedicated staff for their hard work and continued dedication to improving play opportunities in Wales.

Margaret Jervis MBE Chairperson


Director’s report Over the past generation we have seen considerable change in the understanding of the importance of play to children; the ways in which we as adults can improve the environment (as well as the culture of our country) to make it a place where every child has free access to a choice of quality play opportunities within their community. Play Wales has worked hard to contribute to this change and it was particularly gratifying to see the Welsh Government Children and Families (Wales) Measure 2010 receive Royal Assent early in the year. The Measure places a duty on local authorities to assess and provide for ‘sufficient’ play opportunities for children. This development has required a shift in Play Wales’ work. Whilst still advocating and campaigning for children’s play, Play Wales has spent time addressing how we might best contribute to the next steps of the process and how we might support the Welsh Government and local authorities to make best advantage of this legislative development - we look forward to the challenge. Already we are experiencing a considerably increased demand for our services as local authorities prepare themselves for this new responsibility. Unfortunately, we have experienced some significant setbacks during the year. Anticipated funding that would have supported the development and delivery of the Play Wales qualification Playwork: Principles into Practice (P3) was not forthcoming and staff we had retained by using our reserves were made redundant. This situation was compounded by the decision of the Welsh Government not

to continue the funding of Playwork Wales, the national centre for playwork education and training, with the redundancy of the Centre staff. Play Wales had campaigned for years to secure the initial funding and the Centre had delivered on all of its objectives. It was a sad loss. As a consequence Play Wales has reprioritised some aspects of its work to enable us to continue, where funding is available, to deliver qualifications on a full cost recovery basis; and the development and delivery of playwork qualifications has become part of Play Wales’ core work. The change in the wider financial environment has not been without its consequences at Play Wales and by the end of the financial year we had effectively halved the size of the organisation to reflect the changed circumstances. However as a balance to these unhappy circumstances the team has immersed itself in preparing for the 50th Anniversary International Play Association World Conference. As Margaret mentions it was a resounding success; only made so by the dedication, commitment and energy of present and past staff who joined us at Cardiff City Hall in July. I must make particular mention also, of Gill Evans who excelled in her role as Conference Manager. We look forward to the coming year with a strong sense of challenge as we work to support the roll out of the Measure.

Mike Greenaway Director 5


Play provision and development To maintain and ensure appropriate representation and consultation on matters affecting children’s play in Wales. Play Wales was involved in a variety of Wales wide working groups predominately funded by the Welsh Government to ensure that children’s play acquires the status it deserves:

• Ministerial Advisory Group for the Physical Activity Plan • UNCRC Monitoring Group • Article 42 Group • Early Years and Childcare Group • DCELLS 3rd Sector Ministerial Meeting • Childcare and Play Organisation Group • Fforwm Magu Plant • National Association of Toy and Leisure Libraries Welsh Development Committee • Participation Consortium 0 – 10’s Participation Sub Group

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Play Wales has supported the development of a strategic approach to children’s play through: • The design and delivery of playwork seminars • The maintenance and support of the All Wales Strategic Play Network • Publication of the State of Play - a national survey on local issues impacting on children’s play provision • Membership on 20 strategic play working groups throughout Wales. Although at the end of this financial year Play Wales had less capacity to act and advise face to face at a regional level Play Wales was involved in a variety of UK wide policy groups, to ensure UK wide initiatives reflect development and best practice in Wales: • Children’s Play Information Service Advisory Group • National Play Safety Forum

Play Wales has supported children’s play and play provision at local delivery level by: • Ensuring that local community groups are signposted to and supported appropriately by local support networks. We estimate that we received and responded to more than 1000 telephone and email queries from parents, elected members, schools and small organisations during the last year • Providing non-managerial professional development support to 20 Play Development Officers throughout Wales • Providing support for voluntary sector play projects including:

- Re-create (Cardiff and Vale Play Services Association) - Providing expertise and interim support to other local and national organisations through secondments/short term contracts for Development Team staff (the National Association of Toy and Leisure Libraries, Torfaen Voluntary Alliance, Conwy Voluntary Services Council, Fair Share programme in Ynys Môn, Re-create, Heads of the Valleys Project through Tri-County Play Association)

• Register of Playground Inspectors International • Children’s Play Policy Forum • Play England • National Playday Steering Group

Play Wales responded to relevant national consultations.

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Information, guidance and networking Play Wales’ Communications Team has produced and disseminated a wide variety of bilingual information and services over the past year, including:

• Provision, maintenance and ongoing development of a website which is regularly updated with items of interest to members and to those who have an interest in children’s play, playwork and play provision. The number of information pages on the website has increased and so has the number of visitors downloading information. • Tri-annual publication of Play for Wales, our bilingual magazine distributed free both printed and electronically to approximately 1500 people who can further children’s play interests in Wales. • Supporting the work of Playwork Wales - the national centre for playwork education and training until December 2010: production of marketing fliers, maintaining a website - to support play service providers to recruit and sustain quality staff who will work for the play needs of children. • Review and publication of web pages on a range of topics including a range of materials on advocating for and sustainability of play provision for play providers – to support them in meeting children’s play needs and navigating new developments. • Expansion of Play Wales’ library which offers the most comprehensive resource of play and playwork materials in Wales. This is open to visitors by appointment, and largely supports our team with up to date information, as well as play professionals and students studying play and playwork.

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• Editing, proofreading, managing the design and supporting the development of new bilingual playwork training materials – contributing to the quality training of playworkers who can work to meet children’s play needs. • Promotion of play through the media. Representation at national events, such as National Playday - thus raising awareness of the barriers to children having quality play opportunities and emphasising the importance of children’s play. • Contribution to the UK national Playday steering group and information pack – thus supporting play services in providing Playday events for children, but also providing Welsh representation and support to a UK campaigning group highlighting barriers to quality play experiences and recommending action.

• Co-ordinating the organisation of the International Play Association 2011 conference - promoting the work of Play Wales at an international level, promoting quality play provision for children. Marketing this event in Wales and internationally. Setting up a conference website. • Dissemination of publications, 124 copies of The First Claim and 19 Desirable Processes - to facilitate the provision of quality play services to children. • Provision of seminars and conferences to facilitate the provision of quality play services to children.

• Regular contact with Members of Parliament and Assembly Members through magazines, events, meetings and briefings – thus raising awareness of the importance to children of playing and the necessity to promote play-friendly decisions among planners and decision makers. • Contribution to conferences and events in Wales and throughout the UK – promoting the work of Play Wales, promoting quality play provision for children. 9


Workforce development

Play Wales’ Workforce Development team has continued to support and contribute towards playwork education training and workforce development in Wales.

Over the last 12 months Play Wales was active in a range of activity relating to training and workforce development in order to further the play interests of children in Wales, including: • Supported the development of the Health and Social Skills Baccaulareate Diploma

• Ongoing 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 its successor strategy UK Play and Playwork Education and Skills Strategy 2011 - 2016, and its Implementation Plan for Wales

• Supported the development of the SkillsActive Academy of Play and Playwork and the development of CPD and Quality Systems

• Delivering four Playwork Education and Training Council Wales meetings on behalf of SkillsActive. Attending development meetings for the Playwork Common Units Qualifications with SkillsActive

• Maintaining a strong relationship with WLGA Education Training Standards Committee to ensure a peer-led endorsement system four meetings per year and additional endorsement meetings per year depending on demand, work programme and support needs

• Supporting the development of new QCF qualification ‘common’ units at SkillsActive to replace NVQ playwork qualifications - 10 meetings

• Working to develop an ESF Convergence bid to support the development and delivery of playwork, training and assessor qualifications in Wales and the subsequent Welsh Government Sector Priorities Fund Programme bid with SkillsActive and the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA)

• Supported the Credit and Levelling of the new QCF qualification ‘common units’ - three meetings • Supporting the development of new QCF qualifications within the Early Years and Childcare sector 10

• Hosting, seeking funding for and ultimately closing down Playwork Wales, the national centre for playwork education and training Centre in Wales


• Lead the Unite, Play Wales and SkillsActive bid to the Wales Union Learning Fund (unsuccessful) • Rolling out delivery and support of the Level 2 Playwork: Principles into Practice (P3) playwork qualifications (new courses ceased for five months, however 164 still qualified) • Significantly developing and improving qualifications systems to meet standards of the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) for the future devleopment and delivery of Playwork: Principles into Practice (P3) including piloting of online submission • Delivered a P3 Training the Trainer course • Developed a partnership/subcontract with YMCA Community College Wales to secure funding to deliver part qualifications to 100 students • Delivered two seminars/consultations to the sector on Workforce Development • Delivered a National Occupational Standards Consultation in Wales on behalf of SkillsActive 11


Financial review Principal funding sources

During the year Play Wales raised its income principally from the Welsh Government, the annual ‘Spirit’ Conference, various seminars, consultancy and advice, secondments, BIG Lottery Fund Fair Share Trust programme and membership fees (effective 1 January 2011). The core funding from the Welsh Government 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 level of free reserves of at least three months annual expenditure, currently approximately £148k. 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. Restricted funds of £2,677 as at 31 March 2011 will be used during the year for purposes for which they were received. At the year-end, the charity has an accumulated unrestricted surplus of £5,961 (2010: deficit: £83,195). Of these reserves £8,462 is tied up in fixed assets, £65,000 has been set aside in a designated fund as a redundancy reserve. However, the unrestricted reserves are stated after the deduction of a pension liability of £290,000 that does not require to be settled immediately. The free reserves available to the charity (excluding fixed assets, the designated fund and the pension liability) were £221,999 (2010: £307,005).

Investment policy

The trustees regularly review the amount that the organisation requires to ensure that they are adequate to fulfill 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 0.24 percent return.

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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:

• Contribution to and support the implementation of Play in Wales

• A review of Play Wales’ five year and 10 year strategy

• Development of Play Wales membership and increase new members by 20 per cent

• Continued development and delivery of quality play training materials and qualifications • Development of bid for European Funding • Continued development of the website and development of Information Services • A magazine published three times a year • A programme of conferences, workshops, events and seminars • Contribution to the development of meaningful, appropriate local strategies in each of the 22 Welsh local authorities, maintaining memberships and facilitating the development of partnership working with existing groups

• Contribution to the implementation of the UK Playwork Education and Training Strategy

• Supporting the development of a strategic approach to the delivery of play provision at local authority level • Preparing for and capitalising on the opportunities offered by hosting the International Play Association world conference in Cardiff. Securing income and ensuring that Welsh children and young people, and Welsh policy makers and play providers benefit from the event • Support for professional networks • Contribution to and support the implementation of The Children and Families (Wales) Measure 2010 which places a duty on local authorities to provide sufficiently for children’s play.

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IPA 2011

Playing into the Future surviving and thriving 4 - 7 July 2011 City Hall, Cardiff

During the year steady progress was made in preparing to host the IPA 2011 50th Anniversary World Conference. We have: • •

The organisation is 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.

• • •

We look forward to a lively and stimulating four-day conference and to showcasing the best that Wales (and the UK) can offer playing children. 14

• • • • • •

Received, peer reviewed and approved 285 abstracts for inclusion in the conference programme Co-ordinated site visits and liaison with Cardiff City Council regarding the Make a Noise for Play Festival in Sophia Gardens; disseminated information to schools and play providers Marketed and sold exhibition space and sponsorship packages Recruited volunteers including working in partnership with UNA Exchange on the International Volunteer Project Marketed the conference on a Wales, UK and international level both by mail outs and electronic methods Appointed keynote presenters Continued to fundraise Managed the online booking system; developed and continually updated the conference website Liaised with the conference venue and worked alongside Paul Williams Events Identified and liaised with venues for delegate visits Marketed pre and post conference tours organised by other organisations Liaised with Glyndŵr University regarding the International Playwork Camp (1 - 3 July 2011) Hosted the IPA World Board during a visit to the conference venue Appointed a design company to produce the conference materials; sourced conference bags


Play Wales Team Kate Barron - Administrative Assistant

Organisational Structure

Michelle Craig - Office Assistant

The Board of Trustees administers the charity. The Director is responsible to the Board of Trustees for the day to day management of the organisation.

Gill Evans - Communications Manager Mike Greenaway - Director Jane Hawkshaw - Playwork Wales Manager

Membership

Jacky Jenkins - Finance Manager

Play Wales is a membership organisation. Membership is open to organisations and individuals from voluntary, statutory and independent sectors.

Michelle Jones - Project Officer Martin King-Sheard - Project Officer Marianne Mannello - Assistant Director Tillie Mobbs - Assistant Director Kathy Muse - Office Manager Sarah Southern - Project Officer Richard Trew - Qualifications Development Officer Maria Worley - Qualifications Co-ordinator Angharad Wyn Jones - Communications Co-ordinator

The membership fees for 2011 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 15


Contact us ... Play Wales Baltic House Mount Stuart Square Cardiff CF10 5FH Telephone: (029) 2048 6050 Fax: (029) 2048 9359 Email: mail@playwales.org.uk

www.playwales.org.uk Registered Charity No. 1068926. A company limited by guarantee registered in Wales No. 3507258

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