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Play Wales Annual Report

for the year ended 31 March 2012


Play Wales 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. This report demonstrates the contribution Play Wales has made to children’s play in Wales in 2011-2012.


Aims and objectives Chairperson’s report Director’s report Play provision and development Information, guidance and networking Workforce development Financial review IPA 2011 Wales - A play friendly place Future plans Play Wales team Contact details

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Play Wales aims and objectives

• Our objectives are to provide and assist in the provision for facilities and services for play recreation, education and other leisure-time occupation for all children in Wales.

• We act as a champion for children’s play; increasing awareness and understanding throughout Wales of the critical importance of play to children and their wellbeing. • To maintain and ensure appropriate representation and consultation on matters affecting children’s play in Wales. • To contribute and support playwork education training and workforce development in Wales so as to further the play interests of children through quality play service provision and advocacy. In meeting these objectives our aim is to foster a more tolerant, understanding and informed active response among adults who are in a position to meet children’s play needs both directly and indirectly and therefore to improve the wellbeing and participation of children within their communities. 4

The focus of our work The principal activity of Play Wales is to influence policy, strategic planning and practice of all agencies and organisations that have an interest in and a responsibility for children’s play. This is achieved by providing information, technical advice and guidance related 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 provides a forum for playwork throughout Wales, and undertakes a national representational role for playwork. As the national organisation for children’s play in Wales our strategic aims during the year were to: • act as a critical friend of the Welsh Government • promote children’s freely chosen independent play • advocate for children and their play needs • uphold their right to play on behalf of all the children of Wales • raise awareness of play needs at every level from national Government to local play schemes • represent play providers and playworkers offering expert advice, guidance, support, networking opportunities and conferences related to play, play policy, play provision and workforce development. 4

These strategic aims are achieved through the following principal activities: • Information Services • Training and Workforce Development • Play Provision Development Who used and benefited from our services? Our aims and objectives relate to benefiting the children of Wales. Our services were used by: • parents and carers • members of the public campaigning to preserve or instate play provision • organisations providing or supporting children’s services – both local authority and voluntary • organisations providing children’s play services – both local authority and voluntary, as well as community councils • playworkers, play development workers and play development officers • playwork trainers and managers of playworkers • teachers, head teachers and governors. 5

Chairperson’s report

Sadly the forthcoming year will be my last as Chair of the Play Wales Board of Trustees, having held the position continually since the charity’s inception in 1998. Play Wales has come a long way in the past 12 years and has achieved so much; including publishing The First Claim …, which was followed by The First Claim – desirable processes, working with the Welsh Government to develop the first national play policy in the world, developing the Playwork: Principles into Practice (P3) courses and qualifications and supporting the Big Lottery funded Child’s Play programme across Wales.

partnership and support it’s providing regarding the play sufficiency duty and assessments. We look forward to the commencement of the Duty that will require each local authority to assess for and provide sufficient play opportunities in their areas as part of Children and Families (Wales) Measure 2010. Throughout the year the Communications team has continued to produce high quality and timely information that is both accessible and engaging as well as working to develop a new website.

Throughout the year Play Wales has continued in its key role to provide expert support to community groups, organisations, ministerial groups and local government.

Play Wales, working in partnership with the YMCA has continued to deliver Playwork: Principles into Practice (P3) Level 2 qualifications. Although there is still insufficient funding to meet the needs of the sector Play Wales continues to do what it can to deliver the best playwork qualification in Wales.

A highlight of the year for the organisation – and the play sector in Wales and the UK – was the IPA world conference Play Wales hosted in Cardiff’s City Hall in July 2011. It was an exciting and well-organized conference attended by play professionals from around the world. Play Wales successfully organised and hosted the conference with limited staff and resources – the team had almost halved in size since we bid to host the conference in 2008. Play Wales’ relationship with the Welsh Government has been significantly strengthened due to the continuing working in


This year has not been the easiest for Play Wales; one of highs and lows, with the sad loss of Gill the Communications Manager. 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


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. Over the past year Play Wales has continued to work hard to contribute to change in the physical environment and societal attitudes. We have worked with the Welsh Government, our members and constituency to prepare the ground for the Commencement Order of the first part of the new duty placed on Local Authorities by the Children and Families (Wales) Measure 2010 to assess sufficiency of play opportunities for children. This development has resulted in a continued shift in emphasis of Play Wales’ work. Whilst still advocating and campaigning for children’s play, Play Wales has spent time addressing how it might best contribute to the successive steps of the process turning legislation into a reality on the ground and how we might best support Local Authorities to make best advantage of this development. In some respects this has been less of a challenge than we had anticipated with officials across all Local Authority departments engaging with a considerable degree of good will, recognising that whilst supporting children’s play is not their primary function, they do have a contribution to make in the achievement of the objectives Welsh Government has set.

Director’s report

The development and delivery of playwork qualifications has become part of Play Wales’ core work and Play Wales has continued to deliver Level 2 qualifications on a full cost recovery basis in partnership with the YMCA Community College. Play Wales was also successful in winning a Welsh Government European funded, Sector Priority Fund Programme contract from SkillsActive to develop Level 3 Playwork: Principles into Practice (P3) qualifications and the learning materials for the Award which has enabled us to deliver a suite of qualifications to meet workforce expectations. The highlight of the year was the 50th Anniversary International Play Association World Conference which we hosted in Cardiff; attended by 450 delegates from 37 nations. 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. The success of the conference was in no small part due to the commitment and energy of Gill Evans who excelled in her role as Conference Manager. Unfortunately Gill lost her battle with cancer shortly after the conference. She has left a large gap in our organisation that we are gently working to fill. 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 7

Play provision and development

To maintain and ensure appropriate representation and consultation on matters affecting children’s play in Wales. Play Wales was in 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 • Creating an Active Wales Research and Evaluation Planning Group • Creating and Active Wales RBA development task and finish group • Article 42 Working Group • Childcare and Play Organisation Group • Fforwm Magu Plant • Participation Consortium 0 – 10’s Participation Sub Group • RCT Homes Open Space Audit Steering Group • Contribution to the play, sport, leisure and culture chapter of Welsh Government’s 2011 Children and Young People’s Wellbeing Monitor for Wales.


Play Wales also responded to relevant national consultations: • Office of National Statistics Measuring National Wellbeing (4/11) • Welsh Government Tobacco Control Action Plan (5/11) • CSSIW Engagement Strategy (12/11) • Shared Purpose - Shared Delivery (3/12) • Welsh Government proposals to amend the requirements for the registration of the education workforce in Wales (3/12)

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 delivery level by:

• contributing to the design and delivery of the Playworkers Forum in partnership with regional play association projects

• 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.

• delivery of two ‘Cutting the Costs of Inspecting Play Areas’ seminars • the maintenance and support of the All Wales Strategic Play Network • researching State of Play – a national survey on local issues impacting on children’s play provision

• providing non-managerial professional development support to Play Development Officers throughout Wales. • providing specific support for voluntary sector play projects including:

Play Wales was involved in a variety of UK wide policy groups, to ensure UK wide initiatives reflect development and best practice in Wales:

• 3 Counties Play Association

• Children’s Play Information Service Advisory Group

• Dewis Chwarae

• Play Safety Forum

• Re-create (Cardiff and Vale Play Services Association)

• Children’s Play Policy Forum

• Tri-County Play Association

• Play England • National Playday Steering Group • International Play Association England, Wales and Northern Ireland (IPA EWNI) Board • International Play Association (IPA) World • Sustrans’ Free Range Kids Campaign

• Chwarae Plant

• providing expertise and interim support to other local and national organisations through secondments/short term contracts for Project Team staff, Conwy Voluntary Services Council, Fair Share programme in Ynys Môn, Heads of the Valleys Project through Tri-County Play Association, delivery of mentoring programme for lunch time supervisors in partnership with Children’s Scrapstore (Bristol), Review of Powys Play Strategy.


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 and variety of information pages on the website has increased and so has the number of visitors downloading information. Designed and developed a new look website to be launched in Summer 2012. • Tri-annual publication of Play for Wales, our bilingual magazine – distributed free both printed and electronically to approximately 3,350 people who can further children’s play interests in Wales. • Review and publication of new 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. • 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 children’s play. 10

• Contribution to the UK national Playday steering group and resources – thus supporting play services in providing Playday events for children, and also providing Welsh representation and support to a UK campaigning group highlighting barriers to quality play experiences and recommending action. • Setting up and regularly updating Play Wales’ bilingual social media channels. 93 ‘like’ our Facebook pages and 292 follow us on Twitter. • Regular contact with Members of Parliament and Assembly Members through magazines, events, meetings and information sheets – 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 and promoting quality play provision for children. • 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 – with 450 delegates from 37 countries attending. Marketing this event in Wales and internationally; maintaining a conference website, setting up an online booking system, setting up and updating social media channels; hosting UNA Exchange volunteers; working with two design companies to develop and produce conference materials. • On behalf of all the people who are working to make Wales a

play friendly place Play Wales submitted an application for an International Play Association Right to Play Award. Wales is the first country to receive the award. • Launched the Wales – A Play Friendly Place campaign to help build a network of support for play across Wales. • Dissemination of publications, 141 copies of The First Claim and 63 The First Claim - Desirable Processes - to facilitate the provision of quality play services to children. • Editing, proofreading, managing the design and translation and supporting the development of new information sheets: Play: health and wellbeing and Play spaces: common complaints and simple solutions. • Editing, proofreading, managing the design and translation and supporting the development of the Developing and managing play spaces community toolkit publication. • With the National Assembly elections in mind (May 2011), Play Wales published Agenda for Children’s Play in Wales. These are objectives for policy in the new Government - to help remind decision-makers of the importance of play and play provision to children and their families. • Provision of seminars and conferences to facilitate the provision of quality play services to children. 11

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: • 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. • Delivering four Playwork Education and Training Council Wales meetings on behalf of SkillsActive. • Supporting the development of National Occupational Standards – playwork now has Standard Occupational Class codes. • Delivering ESF Sector Priorities Fund Programme (SPFP) project – accredited new (P3) Playwork: Principles into Practice Level 3 qualifications Award, Certificate and Diploma and write new materials for the Award. • Producing new training materials to support the delivery of the P3 Level 3 Award. • Working to develop ESF SPFP bid to support the development of materials for the P3 Level 3 Certificate and Diploma, and


online delivery mechanism in English and Welsh across the Level 2 and 3 qualifications. • Rolling out delivery and support of the Level 2 P3 – 22 cohorts. • The first pilot cohort of Level 3 P3 established and progressing with success. • Continuing to improve on the quality of our Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) Centre provision to attain the highest level accorded by External Verifiers. • Planning delivery for a P3 Training the Trainers course. Secured funding for learners in the Cardiff area. • Developing partnership/subcontract with YMCA Community College Wales to secure funding to deliver qualifications in playwork, training and assessing. • Beginning the role of mainstreaming playwork qualifications throughout Wales and working with several new colleges to establish SQA centres.

Financial review Principal funding sources

During the year Play Wales raised its income principally from the Welsh Government, the International Play Association conference (which replaced the annual ‘Spirit’ conference for this year), a seminar, consultancy and advice, a secondment, Big Lottery Fund Fair Share Trust programme, SkillsActive contract and membership fees (effective 1 January 2012). 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 £132k. 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 -£1,288 as at 31 March 2012 arose due to expenditure exceeding grant income and will be covered by income during the following year. At the year-end, the charity has an accumulated unrestricted deficit of -£101,892 (2011: surplus £5,961). Of these reserves £11,010 is tied up in fixed assets and £105,000 has been set aside in a designated fund. However, the unrestricted reserves are stated after the deduction of a pension liability of £470,000 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 £252,098 (2011: £221,999).

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 0.38 percent return.


IPA 2011

Wales Cymru


Playing into the Future - surviving and thriving The organisation worked with partners and colleagues to make the conference an exciting, vibrant, interesting and memorable event. This was a fantastic opportunity to bring together play providers, practitioners, theorists and researchers and to showcase the policy and practical work that happens in the UK. We succeded in providing a lively and stimulating four-day conference that showcased the best that Wales (and the UK) offers playing children. During the year we prepared and hosted the IPA 2011 50th Anniversary World Conference. •

• • •

• • •

Marketed the conference on a Wales, UK and international level both by mail outs and electronic methods which resulted in attracting 450 delegates from 37 countries over the four days Hosted keynote speakers from the UK, Germany, India and the USA. 285 participated in presenting workshops and papers at the conference Make a Noise for Play Festival – representatives from 20 regional play associations and organisations from across Wales and the UK provided a variety of play opportunities for 525 school children (100 staff and volunteers from play organisations across Wales and the UK) Recruited and hosted nine UNA Exchange students on the International Volunteer Project Marketed and sold exhibition space and sponsorship packages to 20 organisations and companies Continued to fundraise and managed a £10,000 grant from the Waterloo Foundation


• • • • • • •

Managed the online booking system; developed and continually updated the conference website which became a post conference report following the event which included video clips of the keynote speeches Hosted the IPA World Board and World Council meeting Worked with a local design company to produce the conference materials; sourced conference bags and promotional materials Liaised with the conference venue and worked alongside Paul Williams Events Liaised with organisations in Cardiff for delegate visits during the conference Marketed pre and post conference tours organised by other organisations Liaised with Glyndŵr University to organise and host the International Playwork Camp (1 - 3 July 2011) - 50 delegates attended On behalf of all those people who are working to make Wales a play friendly place we submitted the application - ‘Wales - A Play Friendly Place’ for the International Play Association Right to Play Award.

Wales - A play friendly place

‘Wales – A Play Friendly Place’ is a Play Wales campaign that communities can use to establish their own local campaigns for children’s play and be part of a national movement at the same time. Play Wales submitted the application - ‘Wales - A Play Friendly Place’ for the International Play Association Right to Play Award on behalf of all those people who are working to make Wales a play friendly place. The First Minister for Wales, Carwyn Jones AM, received the International Play Association (IPA) Right to Play Award when he opened the 18th IPA conference in Cardiff on 4 July 2011. Upon receiving the Award the First Minister said: ‘The fact that this is the first time the prestigious international award has been made to a whole country is a great honour. I’d like to thank all the organisations and people whose energy and commitment has contributed to Wales winning this award.’ Play Wales has created a Facebook page for ‘Wales – A Play Friendly Place’ to help build a network of support for play across Wales. The page can be used to post opinions, photos and local activity, and gain inspiration. We welcome updates regarding what’s happening locally which is either protecting or prohibiting children and young people’s right to play. 15

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:

Future plans

Contribute to and support the implementation of The Children and Families (Wales) Measure 2010 with respect to the duty on Local Authorities to assess and provide for sufficiency of children’s play opportunities

Development of a BIG Innovations bid

Continue to submit bids for small contracts for workforce development

A Review of Play Wales’s five year and 10 year strategy

Continued development and delivery of quality play training materials and qualifications

Development of a bid for European Funding

Continued development of the website and development of Information Services

Work to mainstream funding for playwork qualifications delivery and support the development of further SQA centres around Wales

Publication of a magazine three times a year

Establish independently funded international SQA satellite centres for delivery of Playwork: Principles into Practice (P3)

Delivery of a programme of conferences, workshops, events and seminars

Continue to support SkillsActive in its work in Wales and provide UK representation

Maintenance of Welsh Local Authorities and Third Sector membership and facilitation of partnership working

Support the Welsh Government regarding the Children and Families (Wales) Measure 2010 requirements around children’s play in relation to cross-sectoral workforce development

Contribution to and support the implementation of Play in Wales

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

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

Continue policy work to ensure that other Government Measures/ initiatives that impact on access to places to play (such as the Transport Bill, Community Safety, Physical Activity Action Plans) incorporate an understanding of children’s right and entitlement to play

Development of Play Wales’ social media presence - increase followers by 20 per cent

Through the Play Safety Forum continue to work with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) to reduce the unintended consequences of misapplication of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974

Support for professional networks

Continue to promote Managing Risk in Play Provision: an Implementation Guide


Play Wales team Michelle Craig - Office Assistant

Organisational structure

Gill Evans - Communications Manager

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.

Mike Greenaway - Director Jacky Jenkins - Finance Manager


Marianne Mannello - Assistant Director

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

Martin King-Sheard - Project Officer 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 Officer

The membership fees for 2012 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:


Contact us ...

Play Wales

Baltic House Mount Stuart Square Cardiff CF10 5FH Telephone: (029) 2048 6050 Email: Registered Charity No. 1068926 A company limited by guarantee registered in Wales No. 3507258

Profile for Play Wales

Play Wales Annual Report 2012  

Play Wales' annual report for the year ending 31 March 2012

Play Wales Annual Report 2012  

Play Wales' annual report for the year ending 31 March 2012

Profile for playwales

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