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Issue 30

Play for Wales Play news and briefing from the national organisation for play

Autumn 2009

PLAY and sustainability


Play for Wales Autumn 2009 EDITORIAL

Contents Editorial

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Why make time for play?


Play Services and Sustainability Raising our Profile

9 10

Playday Events


Workforce Development


Events and Funding


Editorial The last time I was tasked to write 500 words about sustainability I was supporting a stressed teenager to complete an essay. We found out that sustainability, in its broadest sense, is the capacity to endure. We described how, in order to survive (biological) systems remain diverse and adapt so as to be productive over a period of time. Now, a decade later, we play providers often find ourselves wrangling with the sustainability buzzword – at the same time as dealing with a recession that potentially threatens sources of funding. More and more, when it comes to investing in play provision, funders ask the question, ‘How will you sustain the project when our funding ceases?’ This question inevitably results in play providers groping for solutions involving pennies and pounds. But surely this is a very specific response to project sustainability? In my mind the capacity to endure goes beyond a healthy bank balance.

Play for Wales is published by Play Wales three times a year.

Contact the Editor at: Play Wales, Baltic House, Mount Stuart Square, Cardiff CF10 5FH Telephone: 029 2048 6050 E-mail: Registered Charity No. 1068926 ISSN: 1755 9243 The views expressed in this newsletter are not necessarily those of Play Wales. We reserve the right to edit for publication. We do not endorse any of the products or events advertised in or with this publication. This publication is printed on paper produced from sustainable forests. Designed and printed by Carrick Tel: 01443 843520 E-mail:

Play providers have traditionally addressed sustainability through adaptation and diversity. To ensure long-term benefits for children and their access to play opportunities, we have frequently had to be nonconformist. In Wales, playwork organisations have been successful, with their partners, in thinking creatively and laterally to resource children’s play. There are examples of play services in Wales that not only weathered previous recessions but also varying political climates. Just as in nature, our efforts to ensure that our services survive take many forms, most notably through reorganising or

reappraising economic factors and work practices. As a sector, even with the absence of a legal duty to provide for children’s play, we have experience of thinking creatively to achieve sustainable benefits for children. We have watched with interest the progress of the Children and Families (Wales) Measure, which will place a duty on local authorities to assess the sufficiency of play opportunities and to secure sufficient play opportunities. The level of commitment to children’s play at national and local level has changed almost out of recognition in the decade or so since my teenage friend wrote her essay. As a sector, with our partners, we have sustained an interest in and a commitment to quality play provision for children. As a sector, we will continue to send a strong and united message to funders and decision makers. Simply put, children have told us time and time again that play is important to them. They have told us that they value time, space and freedom to play. They have told us that freely chosen play is critically important to all children and young people as part of their every day lives and within their own communities. Investing in provision on the ground is the first step in sustaining a lasting benefit and long term outcome, that more children will have access to a choice of quality play opportunities in their communities. Marianne Mannello, Assistant Director, Play Wales

A heartfelt thank you to everyone who contributed to this magazine – we couldn’t do it without you. This issue of Play for Wales, as well as previous issues, is available to download from our website news section at

Play for Wales Autumn 2009 NEWS


The First Claim for sale in Japan! We are delighted to announce that The First Claim … a framework for playwork quality assessment has recently been published in Japanese.


ur friend Hitoshi Shimamura has been responsible for the translation and the publishing of the Japanese edition.

We have a couple of copies in the library at our office in Cardiff.

Apology Due to a printing error a small number of you may have received a faulty copy of the last issue of our Play for Wales magazine. If so, and you would like us to send you a correct copy please email with your postal details – or you can download a copy from our website.

New Play England resource Play England has published Nature Play: Maintenance guide – guidance that ‘aims to support those responsible for developing, delivering and maintaining innovative natural play spaces into parks and play spaces. ‘The guide aims to support local authorities in introducing nature play into their play spaces according to the design principles outlined in Design for Play: A guide to creating successful play spaces. ‘The guide is for all those involved in providing and managing play provision, especially unstaffed public play areas, in particular local authorities, housing associations, designers of play space and maintenance staff.’ Both Nature Play: Maintenance guide and Design for Play: A guide to creating successful play spaces can be downloaded at


Play for Wales Autumn 2009 NEWS

Changes to CRB checks On 12 October 2009 new measures were introduced to help prevent unsuitable people undertaking paid or volunteer work with children or vulnerable adults.


he Vetting and Barring Scheme by the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) does not replace Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) checks but represents an extra level of protection. The Scheme works alongside the CRB and identifies those people who could pose a risk to children or vulnerable adults. Those deemed a risk will not be allowed to work with vulnerable people.

The ISA has produced a downloadable toolkit with posters and information sheets for various audiences explaining how these changes will affect you and your work. For more information and to download the toolkit visit:

Play Wales’ North Office In the last issue of Play for Wales we reported that our North Wales office in Prestatyn was to close at the end of June. Our North Wales Development Officer Martin King-Sheard is now based at the Office of the Children’s Commissioner for Wales in Colwyn Bay. Martin can still be contacted by email and telephone as usual. Any postal enquiries for Martin should be sent to our office in Cardiff.

Help save our planet! Send us an email and we will send Play for Wales straight into your inbox.

New playwork email discussion groups Following the demise of the online UK Playworkers discussion group two new email forums have been set up to share information and discuss play and playwork related topics. Here are brief introductions to the groups taken from their online descriptions.

International Playwork Forum ‘The forum is for anybody who is a playworker or who uses playwork in their role in working with children. The aims of this new site are: to provide an international discussion forum for anybody who is a playworker or who uses playwork in their role in working with children; to stimulate debate and discussion about the practice of play and playwork; to share information that supports play and playwork.’ To join the group go to: http:// internationalplayworkforum/

Playwork Forum ‘This group exists so that there continues to be a possiblity of being part of a wider network of professionals across the UK’s playwork sector. It is set up to replace the “UKplayworkers Group” with an alternative group to fulfill the same purpose in the same way.’ To join the group go to: http:// playworkforum/

Play for Wales Autumn 2009 NEWS


Legal Matters – Even More We have previously covered news on some of the legislation that will impact on play provision that is currently being processed by the National Assembly and Welsh Assembly Government.


lease keep an eye on our website to find out the latest position on the Children and Families Measure that will place a duty on local authorities to secure sufficient play opportunities for children. At the same time a Legislative Competence Order on Culture has been laid by the Minister for Heritage; this would enable the Assembly Government to legislate on the functions of local authorities in supporting, improving and promoting sport and recreational activities.

The two legislative moves outlined above could potentially overlap each other and we advised in evidence to the Committee that the National Assembly considers and identifies ways in which they will ensure synergy, both legislatively and practically, between its polices, strategies and initiatives. To find out more about LCO’s and Measures:

Playday 2010 theme The Playday Steering Group is currently consulting on the theme for next year’s campaign – the Group is seeking your ideas.


uggestions are welcome from individuals and organisations. There’s no right or wrong suggestion, and no expectation of super-catchy theme titles! Just tell the Playday Steering Group what you think is the most important play-related issue to campaign about over the next year. Playday 2010 will be held on Wednesday 4 August. As always events celebrating Playday will be taking place throughout the summer. Email your suggestions to

Play Season on BBC Four A series of televison programmes ‘celebrating the act of play’ will be broadcasted on BBC Four in December.


rogrammes during the Play Season will include Playground Britannia which explores children’s outdoor play in the 20th Century. For more information visit:

New Team Member M

ichelle Craig joined the team as our Finance Assistant in April 2009. She is a member of the AAT Association of Accounting Technicians and has been working with accounts for ten years.

In her spare time Michelle thoroughly enjoys spending time with her daughters and socialising with friends. Michelle says: ‘I have brought all my enthusiasm and experience to a really fun team and I am looking forward to a long future with Play Wales’.


Play for Wales Autumn 2009 WHY MAKE TIME FOR PLAY?

Why make time for play? Support for play providers to advocate for staffed play provision Making a case for play provision When they are asked what is important to them, children tell us that playing and being with their friends is one of the most important aspects of their lives. Yet we adults often forget how important playing is, and when it comes to finding enough time, or balancing budgets or making planning decisions, playing is often shuffled down the list of priorities. Here we attempt to show why play is so important, why play provision needs financial and political support and why planners and decision makers need to make time for children’s play in their work. Children are co-members of our society. We know that every aspect of their lives is influenced by their urge to play, and yet very little of our built and planned environment affords them the opportunity or the permission to play. In 2008 Play England, the national organisation for children’s play in England, published an up–to-date evidence-based research and literature review on children’s play, Play for a Change. The authors examined the current understanding of the importance of children’s play and how this relates to policy-making and public provision for play. We have used Play for a Change extensively to inform this briefing and it is recommended reading for anyone in Wales who has an interest in children’s play.

Play Play permeates every aspect of children’s lives; this is not a mistake or an aberration – playing makes a considerable contribution to children’s health and well-being and the survival of the human race, or we wouldn’t have retained this behaviour through our evolution. Children and young people play spontaneously most of the time and anywhere they find themselves, unless they are mentally or physically extremely stressed (through severe fatigue, hunger, fear, or illness for example) or there are external environmental and/or personal biological factors that impede them from playing.

‘The sense of pleasure and reward derived from play generates an appetite or urge to seek out further stimuli that afford opportunities to play. The expression of this urge is not confined to the times and places that adults set apart for playing.’ Play for a Change.

The benefits of play to children - surviving and thriving This list of the benefits of play is not complete – research continues - however, it gives some indication of the value of play and the range of benefits children gain from playing. Play can help build resilience – the capacity for children to thrive despite adversity and stress in their lives. Playing has an impact on how children’s genetic make up is expressed, and on the physical and chemical development of the brain. This in turn positively influences the child’s ability to survive and thrive. Children who have developed a playful innovative response to their environments ... may adapt to these in flexible ways, displaying resilience. Physical and mental health are interlinked and both are supported by playing – playing is child-driven and child-friendly, it appeals to all children. [The enjoyment, challenge and self-direction of playing, as well as the range of motor actions, are more effective than externally directed exercise regimes that may be boring or stressful. Poulsen and Ziviani, 2004 as quoted in Play for a Change] Regular active physical play helps prevent disease and relieves depression and anxiety. Many children who have experienced traumatic events play out the scenes they have witnessed. Playing in such a way has been shown to aid a healing process. The unpredictable and spontaneous nature of playing supports the development of an ability to respond flexibly to situations – to roll with the punches. Through playing children develop their own sense of place and belonging – attachment to and knowledge of outdoor places contributes to environmental awareness. Playing helps the brain to develop effective mechanisms for learning – rather than delivering specific learning outcomes – thus contributing to a lifelong ability to learn.

Play for Wales Autumn 2009 WHY MAKE TIME FOR PLAY?

Play is strongly linked to creativity – it involves lateral thinking, imagination and problem solving. Children gain a sense of pleasure and reward from playing – humour and laughter help develop social competence. Playing allows for the expression and experience of strong emotions within a safe enough context. (Sutton Smith) Playing with other children helps individuals to develop strong peer friendships and networks – which contribute to children’s social, mental and health resilience – particularly for those living in poverty. Children’s friendships, gained through playing together, are socially beneficial and valuable catalysts to adults’ social relationships within communities.

The benefits of play provision to children Staffed play provision is a relatively new concept and there is little research into its effectiveness. What we do know is that children’s play is beneficial for all the reasons we have just listed and that their well-being and development cannot be understood as separate from their environment. Quality staffed play provision is an environment in which children can play in a way that is spontaneous, flexible, unpredictable, imaginative and directed by themselves – the very environment contributes to their health and wellbeing. Playworkers working to the Playwork Principles support all children and young people in the creation of a space in which they can play. There are external environmental and/or personal biological factors that impede some children from playing. Such children are supported to play in an environment where there are trained playworkers who know how to intervene where


necessary to facilitate playing. This extends the advantages of playing to children who might not ordinarily benefit. Quality staffed play provision gives a neighbourhood a ‘melting pot’ where children who might not normally meet and socialise can mix in a safe enough context; this provides experience of other people and more opportunities for wide social networks that contribute to children’s resilience. Our society is increasingly risk averse; there are fewer and fewer opportunities to spontaneously express risk-taking behaviour. Within quality staffed play provision there is an understanding that children naturally seek out uncertainty and challenge as part of their play, playworkers are trained to risk assess and intervene only if there is a significant chance that children will come to harm. Play provision gives a ‘safe enough’ space in which children can be ‘in control of being out of control’. Within quality staffed play provision there is an understanding of all forms and types of play behaviour, this may not be the case elsewhere. For instance rough and tumble play contributes positively to children’s resilience and social bonding (particularly for boys) but it tends to be prohibited in many households and school environments. There is evidence that many parents are now more restrictive of their children’s freedom to range and play away from home than in previous generations. Quality staffed play provision within local neighbourhoods can give children and families confidence that they can play out without coming to harm and provide a ‘safe enough’ choice of places to socialise and play away from the home. Children’s lives are increasingly colonised by adult-led activities – within quality staffed play provision they are encouraged to be free agents – making their own decisions, creating their own place to play, directing their own play. Children value environments where they can be themselves and be spontaneous. Children are neophiles – this means they constantly seek out new and diverse choices, new channels for exploration and


Play for Wales Autumn 2009 WHY MAKE TIME FOR PLAY?

discovery, new opportunities and stimuli in order to be happy and healthy. Staffed play provision can provide the new possibilities that children need to get the most benefit from their time playing – fixed equipment playgrounds however, can often tend to have limited possibilities for children’s play. ‘The adult desire for safety, order and visibility contrasts markedly with a child’s desire for disorder, cover and loose materials’. Sometimes children’s play is impeded by adult disapproval and adult values. As part of their play children need to be silly, fall out, rough and tumble, make noise and mess, be rude and cruel and learn the consequences from their peers, and destroy as well as create. Expressing these needs is unacceptable within many environments and situations – they are accepted as part of the range of children’s play within quality staffed play provision. Children are involved in decision-making processes within play provision – from deciding and negotiating how they play with one another, to choosing new workers, this provides an opportunity for participation and personal agency that is often lacking in other areas of their lives. There are fewer and fewer children playing out in our parks and streets – one of the reasons for this is a lack of confidence in their safety, another is an increasing intolerance towards their play behaviour, but also children are reluctant to go out and play if there is no-one to join up and play with. Children growing up today tend to have fewer opportunities to meet up and play independently – staffed play provision provides such an opportunity.

‘The adult desire for safety, order and visibility contrasts markedly with a child’s desire for disorder, cover and loose materials’. The playworkers within play provision are trained to support children’s play by providing materials and protected space and permission – they do not direct children’s play or join in unless invited. Children have a right to play under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Legal moves are being made in Wales (summer 2009) to place a duty on local authorities to provide for children’s play. Staffed play provision within a community shows to the people in that community that playing is important – it also has an important advocacy and outreach role. A staffed play setting is not a play ‘ghetto’ but one of what ought to be a wide range of choices and affordances for play within a child’s community. Playworkers are trained to advocate for children’s play – to promote the idea that playing is normal and necessary and a behaviour to be welcomed in any place where children travel through or spend time. The playwork curriculum, as it is supported within quality staffed play provision, includes playing with the elements. Children are encouraged to play with earth, air, water and fire within a safe enough context where there are adults on hand who continually risk assess and support safe practice. For some children this is their only experience of the elements – or the only place in their lives where playing with them is legitimate.

Where children are traumatised by events in their lives the playwork approach supports the playing out and recreation of difficult experiences in a sensitive and non-judgemental way. For instance a child who has witnessed extreme family violence might recreate such events when playing – a playworker is trained to take into account the circumstances and the play drive of the child and to respond without censure. Such play may not meet the same sensitive approach in other places in the child’s life. Quality staffed play provision can create a hub for a community, in much the same way as schools do during term time or chapels and churches used to, they offer nonthreatening opportunities for adults and young people to volunteer and become involved. Staffed play provision provides job opportunities and workforce development within communities. Children and families value quality staffed play provision; the relationships they make through it and the contribution it makes to communities. The better and more comprehensive the play provision within a community, the more families are likely to be attracted to live there, because they know their children will be valued and their children’s needs will be met.

Conclusion Playing is vitally important to children’s health and well-being. Children are fellow members of society and yet the places they find themselves spending time are more often than not poor in play possibilities. Staffed play provision is a valuable choice that supports and promotes children’s play within their community.

Further reading Else, P. (2009) The Value of Play. London: Continuum International Publishing Group Lester, S. and Maudsley, M. (2007) Play, naturally. London: Play England Lester, S. and Russell, W. (2008) Play for a Change. London: Play England Sutton-Smith, B. (1997) The Ambiguity of Play. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press



Play Services and Sustainability Sustainability is a word often used by decision makers and funders. Here we explore what it means for play services. Embedded in the Community Sustaining provision is not all about finance – it is also very much about people. Sustaining play provision is important for children and the communities they live in (see our briefing Why make time for play?) – to be sustainable we need the support and the involvement of the community who live around it. Quality play provision is embedded within the local community and thrives on strong relationships with community members – in particular children, young people and their families. Fostering positive relationships within the local community 365 days of the year means there is a ready-made band of potential supporters who understand the value of the provision. Supporters will share concern if the play service is being reduced or withdrawn. For any staffed play provision to be successful, be it an adventure playground or a peripatetic play project working in a local green space, a sense of community ownership and involvement is vital. Developing good links and relationships with influential people, such as local councillors, other residents and local businesses, and other providers, such as schools, provides a broad base of people to recruit to support any campaign for sustaining the project.

Children and young people’s voluntary involvement in any campaign is not only strategic (politicians and decision makers are reluctant to face public condemnation for ‘hurting’ the most vulnerable members of our society) but it also gives them an opportunity to be involved in a political and social process. One recent example of successful action was when the children of St Mellons decided to tape themselves to the shipping container that was central to their local play service and the lorry sent to collect it was unable to take it away.

Local jobs for local people One way to foster positive local relationships is by employing local people (either in a paid capacity or as volunteers) who bring with them all manner of benefits, including knowledge and understanding of the local community culture and history. Whilst it is important to have a balanced staff team that has professional qualifications and/ or particular expertise, locally born and bred staff can be trained to the required level and can add to the quality of the relationship with their children and their community.

Money matters It is important not to be reliant on any single source of funding and to plan ahead. There may be statutory funding available from the local authority, or non-statutory funding available from charitable trusts – we need to set aside time to research and keep applying for pots of money as part of our everyday work pattern (written into job descriptions and work plans, on the agenda at management board meetings).

Conclusion In our current financial climate we cannot be complacent and we need to be prepared. There may be cuts to funds available from the local authority, and charitable trusts have also been hit by the recession. But this is also a time of opportunity – a time to make our own luck.

Monitor and record


It often gets left off the to-do list, but we need to take time to regularly monitor, evaluate and record the benefits our play services brings to children and their local communities.

Children and young people have a right to participate and express their views on decisions that impact on their lives – they also have a strong interest in sustaining quality play provision.

Monitoring and recording will provide evidence for the need to sustain the current service as well as support funding applications. More and more potential funders look for evidence that their investment will make a quantifiable difference to children – if we don’t have that evidence we may lose out.


Play for Wales Autumn 2009 RAISING OUR PROFILE

Raising our Profile Playday is an opportunity to raise the profile of local play provision but we don’t have to wait till the first Wednesday in August, this is something we can all do all year round.


he Playday campaign 2009 is about making time for play – 365 days a year - at the same time our current economic and political climate means some budgets are being squeezed and difficult decisions are being made about funding – it is predicted that this may continue for some time. Raising the profile and promoting the benefits of play provision has never been more important. Here are our tips to raise the profile of a local play service - whether times are good or bad. Make time to make useful allies. Find out who makes the decisions about funding your play provision. Make relationships with key decision makers and local politicians and political candidates (of all parties) – invite them to come along and see what you do and what it means to children, grandchildren and families. Chat about your service with everyone (from the local Doctor and Councillor to the Granny on the corner). Make time to spread the word. Make time to get your service featured in local media - use the local press and TV (but don’t rely on it – we can use new technologies too). Make sure everyone knows

Ben Greenaway of Rhondda Cynon Taff Play Association being interviewed by a news crew at a Playday event in Pontypridd

The key message is: We’ve consulted with children enough times – we know what they’ve asked us for – they say it’s time for PLAY.

you are there and what you do – and most importantly, what your service means to local children and families. Tell everyone about it – celebrate successes and publicise news. Make time to get members of the public involved. From making parents and carers feel comfortable to stop by and chat (or even volunteer as playworkers) to recruiting trustees within the local community and among local decision makers.

Make time to plan ahead. If possible, don’t rely entirely on one source of funding – make time to seek out different sources. Have plans on the shelf ready to adapt should a new funding opportunity come along. Make time to find play sector support. Make strong links with the Executive Officer of your regional play association who works strategically to support play provision in your area. Find a list at

Play for Wales Autumn 2009 PLAYDAY EVENTS


The Vale of Glamorgan The Vale of Glamorgan Council’s play development team organised and held a Playday event at Victoria Park in Barry.


he day’s activities included a water slide and arts and crafts. The event was attended by Jane Hutt A.M. who took part in some marshmallow toasting!

Rhondda Cynon Taff For Ben Greenaway, Executive Officer for Rhondda Cynon Taff Play Association, working in partnership with other local organisations resulted in a very successful Playday in Pontypridd.


ednesday 5 August 2009 seemed a long way off when we started thinking of running a Playday event. In late autumn of 2008 a group of us got together with a budget of £1000 and lots of enthusiasm and big plans. RCT Play Association took the lead in partnership with Rhondda Cynon Taff County Borough Council, Interlink, Penywaun Enterprise Partnership, and Valleys Kids - but how to get enough money to afford what we want to do? We secured £1000 from Fframwaith and £1000 from Out of School Hours Learning – which contributed to providing bus transport for Playschemes. We also secured a BIG Lottery Awards for All grant of nearly £5000. The staffing was a success, with RCT’s Flying Squad team, playworkers from Llantrisant and Michael Sobel Playpods, Valleys Kids Van and Pods teams all allocated to work at the event. Everybody on the partnership pulled together and worked hard – whether it was planning play opportunities or

buying and collecting resources. RCT Parks department took care of all the logistical stuff around using Ynysangharad Park in Pontypridd. RCT Special Events team came on board, we couldn’t have done it without them. We managed to tag on after another event happening in the park … which meant we had access to as many marquees, barriers, generators, tables and chairs as we needed. Every member of the partnership had their tasks and got on with them. We all begged and borrowed to provide as many resources as we could. Given this was our first event we had no idea how many people to expect, but we knew at least 1000 people might attend (as that’s how many seats on buses had been organised). The day before the event the weather was typical of August – very very

wet, but we were all there in the park setting up barriers, delivering all the resources to marquees and filling up water bowsers ready for a water slide and water fights. It was at this point we realised quite how much stuff we had managed to gather despite a very limited budget. On Playday the sun came out – approximately 3760 people attended and all had a fantastic day. Everybody involved agrees that we need to make National Playay in RCT an annual event … although some of the children attending wanted us to do it every week!


Play for Wales Autumn 2009 PLAYDAY EVENTS

Conwy E

irias Park in Colwyn Bay was full of activity and laughter on Playday. Many organisations took part including Flying Start, NCMA, CVSC, Clybiau Plant Cymru Kids Clubs, the Way of Life Team and Colwyn Bay Leisure Centre. Children of all ages came along to ride the famous smoothie bike! The children loved creating their own fruit smoothies whilst riding the bike to control the machine. What a sight! Some children created dens and climbed the trees, some explored the nearby river and others listened to stories on the grass. In line with the theme of the day some children created their own colourful clocks; Clybiau Plant Cymru Kids Clubs helped them to ‘Make Time for Play.’ Throughout the day at least 20-30 children came along. The Treasure Hunt proved very successful with children hiding and seeking for treasure with the help of a map. The day went very well and everyone enjoyed being in the sunshine and having fun!

Torfaen T

o celebrate Playday various events took place across Torfaen. All events were free and great emphasis was placed on providing children and young people with play based activities that promote a healthy life style and positive well-being. The main event was held at Cwmbran Boating lake - with giant trampolines, climbing wall, circus skills, animal encounters, wacky races, potters wheel, sports, creative arts, den building,

junk modelling, camp craft to name but a few. The event was attended by over 600 children from local playschemes as well as members of the public – one eight year old said ‘Its better here than Alton Towers’. To coincide with this year’s Playday theme ‘Make Time for Play’ at every event at 12pm the children and young people led a procession with flags and banners. The parade empowered the children and young people to make a stand for their right to play.

Gwynedd G

wynedd’s Playday this year was held at the National Eisteddfod in Bala. The Regional Play Development Officers and Gwynedd’s Play Officer made sure that children stopped to play on their way around the Maes. Water played a big part! Children played in the stocks for hours … throwing wet sponges at each other and even at some of the parents! Children painted a graffiti wall, painted with sand and painted themselves! A mystical corner was created with spells and potions where some children dreamt up their own spells using spiders web, troll’s ears and fairy dust to name but a few! The officers found the day an excellent opportunity to meet with various organisations, councillors and relevant individuals and spread the word about play. At least 50 children stopped to play. The day was very successful.

Play for Wales Autumn 2009 PLAYDAY EVENTS

Cardiff Re-Create has brought together residents and a range of community services to support moves to reclaim a doorstep play area for local children in Grangetown, Cardiff. We started by celebrating Playday.



arents were concerned that dog owners were using the local gardens as a dog toilet - and thought the area might be better used for children’s play.

After initial discussions on launching a campaign to reclaim the area for children’s use, Re-Create helped the group make contact with existing support services and the local Tenants and Residents Association. We had a small grant from Cardiff County Council to run four summer play sessions, starting with an event on Playday. Re-Create’s Cymorth funded Play Development Worker played a critical role in pulling parents and services together. The Tenants and Residents Association had previously attempted to run events in the park but had been unable to afford the necessary public liability insurance - required by the parks department. Re-Create’s insurance already covers public events, and as a registered charity we are able to access funding not available to small local groups. The Playday event at Pentre Gardens attracted 80 children and their families, who took part in an informal playful event. Re-Create staff provided a little inspiration to get things started, as well as a range of scrap materials from the Play Resource Centre at Ely Bridge. Children quickly provided the rest, and in no time we had robots, masks, hammocks and tag games spontaneously firing off throughout the day. There was something for everyone, including ideas for parents and local children’s club workers from the local Temple. Parents were pleased with the event - they loved seeing so many children playing together in the park, and were amazed at how little was needed to support the children’s play. Re-create will continue to support these ideas, and to remind local residents that no permission, insurance or funding is needed for families to meet and play in their local park – all year round. Contact Re-Create: 029 2057 8100

Wrexham I

n Wrexham an estimated 2000 people attended their Playday event in Queen’s Square. The front and rear of the Council House was transformed – with a range of organisations from across Wrexham making time for play. In the square, straw bales and a huge rubber pond liner became a boating pond for Coracles whilst Colin Powell and the staff from Gwen Fro Valley built forts from pallets and orchestrated a mass water balloon fight. Meanwhile NEW Play, the regional play

association, were on hand with giant bubbles and the WCBC Play team did their best to get everyone wet with a jelly bath, water slide and sponges. Staff from the Venture built a fire and did tasty things with toasted marshmallows and rich tea biscuits. Overall it was a colourful event with a variety of opportunities for children and young people to play and it’s proximity to the town centre and Council House ensured that shoppers and council officials alike, made time for play.

Play for Wales Autumn 2009 WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT


Our New Qualifications Co-ordinator M

aria Randall has joined our team as the Qualifications Co-ordinator for Playwork: Principles into Practice (P3) courses.

Maria has fifteen years experience working as the Staff College Co-ordinator with the Wales Youth Agency. She is a real asset to our team, adding her expertise and a painstaking methodical approach to the administration involved in providing this qualification. Her responsibilities in her previous post included organising training courses, maintaining student/trainer registrations and ensuring the smooth running of accreditation procedures. Maria joins us on secondment from the Welsh Assembly Government’s Youth Work Strategy Branch until March 2010 and we are working hard to raise the funds to retain this post (and the lovely Maria) long term.

CPD Strategy

FREE Training! T

his Level 2 Certificate in Learning Support (9297) is beneficial to all individuals within the work place, especially those who wish to support and guide colleagues through training and development. The personal and professional benefits are immense and by having a more motivated and trained workforce we can all achieve more. South Wales training is planned for 25 November, 2 December, 9 December, and 16 December. We are very keen to offer the training throughout Wales – just get in touch – it’s free!


We would like to take this opportunity to thank those who responded – we have used your responses to make this document a much more effective tool for the playwork sector in Wales. Potential in Playwork will be available to download in English and Welsh from the Playwork Wales website in November 2009.

P handbooks 3

The handbooks that support our Playwork: Principles into Practice (P3) qualification are now on sale. Trainer and learner versions are available for all sections of Level 2 – Award, Certificate and Diploma.


e (with a team of expert playworkers and trainers) have worked really hard to bring

you quality training materials providing essential theoretical and practical information to reinforce the taught P3 courses.

otential in Playwork – the Continuing Professional Development Strategy for Wales is in the final stages of being re-drafted following consultation.

Playwork Wales Website W

e can publicise your playwork training courses on the new Playwork Wales website. We often field enquiries from individuals wishing to gain playwork experience and qualifications in the community. If you tell us about the training you are delivering locally or are planning to deliver, we may be able to join people up. Tell us what you think of the new Playwork Wales website ... and what you might like to see available there in the future.

Play for Wales Autumn 2009 WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT


P available for Schools 3


e are currently advertising our P3 qualification to primary schools across Wales – encouraging learning support assistants, dining room assistants and teaching staff to undertake the training.

The biggest difference we can make to the quality of play that children experience in school is the approach and understanding of our staff.


or anyone who works with children P3 playwork training is a gold star introduction to facilitating children’s play.

Learning about play through P3 will give teachers, assistants and supervisors confidence to support children to play in their own way – and we will see happier, healthier children who can really make the most of their time to play. P3 (Playwork: Principles into Practice) training has been developed by Play Wales, supported by the Welsh Assembly Government. P3 training is based on the current research and theory behind children’s play behaviour. It offers a Level 2 qualification, or simply a training course that will boost the skills and knowledge of staff. The training can be run over a period of time to suit the school and the needs of learners – we can deliver a three day qualification course for 15 learners for as little as £500 per day. P3 – helping schools enrich children’s play

Contact our Workforce Development Team on 029 2048 6050 or email or visit


Play for Wales Autumn 2009 EVENTS AND FUNDING

Events Play! The glue that holds the school day together – a No Ball Games! Conference roadshow 20 November 2009 – Dublin 2 December 2009 – Hull

Children in Wales Annual Conference & AGM 24 November 2009

Christchurch Centre, Newport

Play Wales – Managing Risk in Children’s Play: A common sense approach 2 December 2009

The Metropole, Llandrindod Wells

North Wales Play Association 35th Anniversary Seminar 3 December 2009 (2:00 - 4:00pm)

Kinmel Manor Hotel, Abergele Call 07817 559805 or email

IPA/USA 25th Anniversary Conference 10 – 13 March 2010 Atlanta, Georgia

Play Wales – Spirit of Adventure Play 5 – 6 May 2010

Holiday Inn, Cardiff

20th International Play Therapy World Congress 13 – 24 May 2010 Marrakech WorldCongress2010home.htm

25th ICCP World Play Conference – Children’s Play: New Goals for the Future June 2010

Lisbon Email: or

I’ll be There

IPA World Conference Wales 2011


lans continue for a fantastic 50th Anniversary International Play Association Conference in July 2011, with steady progress being made towards hosting an event that showcases the best that Wales can offer playing children. Make a Noise for Play is part of the 50th anniversary celebrations we are beginning to organise. This event is for children and delegates to enjoy one afternoon of unadulterated noisy mayhem during the conference. We have invited each of the BIG Lottery funded Play Infrastructure Projects to organise a play opportunity. If you are a play provider and would like to get involved in making a noise in 2011 please contact your regional Play Infrastructure Project. Make a Noise for Play is a celebration we hope to share around the world and to gain attention from the media and decision makers – because anyone anywhere can make a noise for children’s play. Meanwhile in mid-Wales ... anyone who took part in the 2008 Playworkers Forum at Newbridge on Wye will appreciate why we have chosen this venue for a weekend’s international camp with playworkers prior to the conference. Let’s start now with positive thinking for good weather.

New job I

n the last issue of Play for Wales we sadly reported that Annette’s post in our North Office had been made redundant.

Annette is now the Information Officer for Healthy Conwy – the Health, Social Care and Well Being Partnership in Conwy.

Funding reminder S

ustainable Funding Cymru is a service that provides funding advice and opportunities.

The Funding Portal provides access to a searchable database of UK funding opportunities, advice and support on raising funds and tips on how to diversify funding.

Play for Wales issue 30  
Play for Wales issue 30  

Play Wales is the national charity for children's play. We publish the Play for Wales magazine three times a year.