Swings & Roundabouts Magazine

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News and Events | Workshops | Boredom Busters | Why donate? Issue 1 Monday 28th March 2016


Birmingham PlayCare Network launches healthy eating project More on page 8

5 reasons to sign up for The Scrapstore Birmingham Page 34


Complete the challenge for your chance to win a free membership! More on page 36

Image courtesy of Donnie Ray Jones: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/ Gradient applied, exposure, saturation, lightness and contrast increased.


Non original images courtesy of: Donnie Ray Jones (Front and back cover) Philippe Putt (Contents) Carl Wycoff (Page 4) Oakley Originals (Page 8) Martin Pettitt (Clock on page 10) Mihaita Tatarusanu (Page 14) Boudewijn Berends (Page 16) Indi Samarajive (Page 18) Enokson (Page 20) Brisbane City Council (Page 21) Epicantus (Page 22) Tanay Mondal ( Page 25)



About Birmingham PlayCare Network


Board of directors

News & Events 8

Birmingham PlayCare Network commissions Jewellery Quarter artist in bid to launch healthy eating project


BPCN appeals for volunteers in Jewellery Quarter


Update on Out of School Network Meetings


Birmingham City Council consultation for Early Years Service Review Project now open


National Council for Voluntary Youth Services calls for ‘National Safeguarding Day’


Vodafone marks Safer Internet Day by launching #BeStrong Anti-Bullying App


BPCN urges children to ‘develop their capacities’ through school playtime initiative


BPCN joins forces with local organisations to provide FREE outdoor activities for children


BPCN launches Easter Party activity in association with WM Housing Group

Features 26

The Spotlight: Emma Payne, Business Development Manager


On the map: ‘Play in Parks’ - Summer 2016

30 32 36


In pictures: ‘Play Principles’ - March 2016

The Scrapstore Birmingham: Why donate? - New donors

5 reasons to join The Scrapstore Birmingham - Donation wish list

Boredom Busters


Birmingham PlayCare Network was set up initially to support the play care sector. This includes settings that operate out side of school hours usually for children up to age 14 whose parents or carers require childcare. EMMA PAYNE, Business Development Manager provides a rundown of the organisation’s history and the ‘BPCN Vision’.


e are a third sector, member-led organisation comprising of early years providers and childcare experts. We have been operating for around 20 years. It is not necessary to be a member to access our services, however resource packs and prioritisation for some training programmes are benefits that prevail as a result of a membership package. Our services cover all areas of the West Midlands from the more affluent sectors of the population, to those experiencing severe deprivation. Our core values run alongside four strands of work delivery, which are: Workforce Development Advocacy of Play Information and member services Quality BPCN is headquartered in Birmingham’s famous Jewellery Quarter and houses a team of 4 4

ten members of staff all holding industry-standard qualifications and enhanced DBS checks. During our ‘Play in Parks Programme’, staffing levels increase to a maximum of around 30. BPCN is passionate about promoting both the importance of play and high quality play opportunities for children and young people, with a dedicated board of director’s currently standing at four members including a Chair, Vice Chair and Treasurer roles, some of whom are founder members of BPCN. Board of Directors: Yvette Oruye - Chair & Founder Sarah Wood - v/Chair & Founder Pete Middleton – Director Jesse Gerald – Director

Emma Payne, Business Development Managaer

The Birmingham PlayCare Network magazine bpcn.org.uk



The board of directors


everend Peter Middleton began his career as a play worker in 1977, coordinating and contributing towards play schemes for North Cornwall District Council. Having worked on a London overspill estate for one year, Peter then came back to his home (Birmingham) in 1978. It was here where he began working for Birmingham City Council’s Birmingham Play Service in the Parks Department, a post that he held for 32 years thereafter, working as an Out of School Development Officer promoting the use of after school and weekend clubs.

At 21 years of age, Peter found himself running an organisation that facilitated play right on his doorstep, Handsworth Play Centre. Given the lack of educational routes into play work at this time, Peter had to source apprenticeships, voluntary work, and part time paid work to get an opportunity in the sector, he began running the organisation mainly because “nobody else wanted to touch it with a barge pole”. Play provision has reduced over last five to ten years dramatically, with the support now in high demand.

The vision was to ensure that childcare offered good quality play that pushed children to think creatively. Based on this objective, the target was set to establish one out of school club per primary school, providing out of school childcare and nursery education for children. Prior to the labour government in 1997, just one in three children received nursery care, but this ambition was achieved.

As well as being on the board of directors at Birmingham PlayCare Network since 2012, another current venture of Peter’s is being a Chaplain at Birmingham’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital. Peter said:


I enjoy making sure that there’s the ability for children to play. Coming from a background in adventure, I’m extremely enthusiastic about my work with BPCN and The Scrapstore Birmingham as a continuation of that. Play provision has reduced over last five to ten years dramatically, so there’s a real need for this support.

Yvette Oruye is a founder member of BPCN originally from Nigeria, and first developed her passion for childcare and facilitating play for children and young people when she got married and had children. Once she completed her move from Nigeria to the United Kingdom, Yvette came across a local voluntary organisation near to where she lived, and went in to volunteer. This inspired Yvette to take up a NNEB qualification (industry nursery qualification). Having completed the qualification, she was then approached by Voluntary Community Centre Norton Hall, who subsequently offered her a job managing the out of school provision. Yvette said:

“I have a passion for quality and

play and desperately wanted to raise awareness for play workers and out of school workers. When I first started there were not many opportunities for play workers, they were not paid well and not given the recognition when compared to professionals like nursery workers. Peoples’ wider knowledge of this area was just not there.”

Over twenty years ago Yvette was introduced to a group of out of school play workers who she started to meet up with regularly, establishing the connection with Peter Middleton, Out of School Development Officer at Birmingham City Council. The group operated from a rundown building, and later requested funding to develop the network as an advocacy for play workers raising awareness of play principles. A base was then acquired at Grove Community Centre. At this time there were 40 out of school clubs in city, a figure that had developed from 19 when Peter started in the role. The next stage was to invite local clubs in the area to get involved. This is when Birmingham PlayCare Network was born. Sarah Woods is also a founder member of BPCN when it first formed over twenty years ago. Sarah was originally a dress designer for a theatre in Stratford, the City of Birmingham Touring Opera and MAC. Sarah got into childcare because of the inconvenience of theatre working hours, however still having a drive to do something creative to fit around newly born children. She started teaching art classes at MAC as she could take the children; later developing toddler art classes, and for pre-retirement ages too. This newfound interest and enthusiasm led to working for Birmingham City Council as a pre-school council worker, this is where Sarah met Yvette. Sarah reflects on initial group meetings and developing BPCN in the early stages:

“We used to meet as a

group at the old library on one of the two floors, this is how BPCN first started. As part of working for Birmingham City Council, I was based at Grove Community Project, working with parents and families of the local community and St James’ Church. After success

doing the parents and toddler groups, I implemented after school provision in 1994 and became a registered charity in 1998; it has just grown from there.

“I sort of fell into this line of work,

but I love it. I’m passionate about maintaining the focus on quality play experiences for children.” Jesse Gerald is the newest board member, joining in 2014. Jesse started off working voluntarily in 1985 at Holte School and Community Centre, which developed into a paid position running the play provision. At the time of getting this paid role Jesse was studying Sociology and Psychology with Public Administration at Coventry University. Jesse left his position as Centre Manager at Holte in 2002. The next step in his career was working as an area officer for Birmingham City Council, and it was through this position that he was able to provide funding for Sarah, as her work at Grove Community project fell under his remit for the Ladywood and Perry Bar District. Jesse said:

“In 2004 I became a District Officer

for Community Development and Play at Birmingham City Council. I was responsible for funding voluntary community organisations in terms of the summer and Easter schemes. BPCN contacted us, we ran a trial event and it went really well. We knew that BPCN could go to places that Birmingham City Council couldn’t, so through the ‘Neighbourhood Renewal’ and ‘Community Chest’ funding schemes we were able to ask each of the wards to approve bids coming from BPCN to enable play in parks to take place in these neglected areas.” When Emma Payne, Business Development Manager, and Becky Coley, Fundraising and Project Manager at BPCN knew Jesse was leaving Birmingham City Council due to funding issues in 2014, they asked him if he would like to get involved in the organisation. As well as being a board member, he now delivers Ofsted requirements for early years services.

The Birmingham PlayCare Network magazine bpcn.org.uk




Birmingham PlayCare Network commissions Jewellery Quarter artist Tina Francis for healthy eating project Birmingham PlayCare Network has launched a new initiative called ‘Crafty Food Fantasia’ in an attempt to help promote and encourage healthy eating for children.


rafty Food Fantasia aims to utilise materials from The Scrapstore Birmingham to create items based around the theme of food. The project was launched in January 2016 and involves collaboration with artist Tina Francis, a tapestry and textile specialist based in the Jewellery Quarter, Birmingham.

The sessions The craft-based sessions will be facilitated by the contracted artist alongside a BPCN project worker with the main aim of supporting out of school settings that are working to promote healthy eating with children and families attending their provision. Emma Payne, Business Development Manager at Birmingham PlayCare Network said:

“We are working with Tina to showcase the skills of artist-makers here in the Jewellery Quarter where our main scrapstore is based. The project will help to stimulate creativity throughout children whilst incorporating the vital messaging surrounding the importance of healthy eating.

“This collaboration within the Jewellery Quarter really emphasises how this is an area of Birmingham that is thriving, especially in terms of creativity and innovation.” Prior to the session Birmingham PlayCare Network will supply each setting with five food-themed

storybooks to be read by a member of staff to the children, who will then decide on their favourite story. That choice will then form the basis on which the session’s plan and theme is framed around by Francis and what sort of materials are provided by The Scrapstore Birmingham. Throughout the sessions children will work with Tina Francis to produce the following: A large fruit or vegetable sculpture made from scrap materials Food finger puppets made from The Scrapstore Birmingham resources Woven placemats made from The Scrapstore Birmingham resources for the children to make and take home or use in your setting The artist and BPCN project worker will plan and bring all resources needed for the sessions and children must be accompanied throughout all workshops by staff from each out of school setting, as the artist and the BPCN member of staff cannot be counted as part of the child to adult ratio. Each setting can keep all the artwork that the children make, and it is encouraged that the large food-themed sculptures should be used for display or as a stimulus for promoting language around food. Emma Payne added:

“This project not only promotes

This is a mind-set we encourage. The finger puppets can be used for further communication play and the woven placemats can remain at each setting or be taken home by the children, a reminder of the sessions they have engaged in as well as a prompt to the key messages we would like them to share with their family.”

The messaging As well as the enjoyment of the process, this project’s main purpose it to provoke a positive impact on the mind-set of young children, and encourage the following messages: Eating fruit and vegetables is vitally important Sitting up to the table to eat meals is a positive thing to do Reading, sharing stories and books is key to effective child development Up-cycling materials is good to do, fun and helps the environment

The cost One two hour session will cost the respective setting £185.00. This will include all artist fees, BPCN project worker time, five books to be delivered to each setting (which are free to keep), all resources and additional materials to be used in the session. Sessions can be booked by contacting Emma Payne, Business Development Manager at Emma@bpcn.org.uk, or alternatively Becky Coley, Fundraising and Partnerships Manager at Becky@bpcn.org.uk.

creativity and awareness around healthy eating, but we hope it also leaves a lasting legacy at each location. The Birmingham PlayCare Network magazine bpcn.org.uk



BPCN appeals for volunteers in Jewellery Quarter Looking for some volunteering experience? After a great organisation to put on your CV involved with influencing thousands of people? Birmingham PlayCare Network is looking for volunteers.


orking towards a goal, making a difference, achieving success whilst also having a positive influence on many people’s lives every single day. These are a tiny selection of notions that Birmingham PlayCare Network adopts in its bid to improve and stimulate the play experiences for young children in the UK’s Second City.

up in a rubbish bin or buried deep in landfill can be reformed, reinvented and consequently stimulate a satisfying play experience for a child.

Accepting a way of life, or previously cemented values that seem extremely unlikely to change can be a very easy thing to do, but Birmingham PlayCare Network prides itself on making a difference, not only to the lives of children, but to their parents, the local community and actually all staff members. A close knit team is crucial to maintaining the passion and genuine enthusiasm for what many people would see as a job, but what BPCN sees as an opportunity and a family. The Scrapstore Birmingham Creativity with materials, strategies and ideas makes up a huge part of the BPCN identity. These qualities and visions are reflected and demonstrated greatly through The Scrapstore Birmingham. This is BPCN’s very own initiative to ensure that the materials and offcuts that local businesses may deem useless or waste, are anything but. This also allows BPCN to show others that, with ambition and drive, something that could’ve easily ended 10

Want to get involved? Email emma@bpcn.org.uk or call (0121) 212 9704.

The Birmingham PlayCare Network magazine bpcn.org.uk




BPCN Update on Out of School Network Meetings As part of its service providing play care provision for children, Birmingham PlayCare Network also holds regular local network meetings to share ideas and advice.


PCN network meetings provide an opportunity for out of school settings to meet with other providers local to their area. The meetings share best practice as well as hold group discussions about policies and other information relevant to both local and national developments within the play care sector. Covering the four areas of Birmingham, twenty-four settings attended the first round of network meetings held this year. Discussions revolved around finances, openended resources,

inconsisencies with Ofsted inspections for different settings, Ofsted checklist safeguarding (when parents bring other people with them when collecting their children) as well as the early years health and wellbeing consultation documents. The next meeting Topics for the next meetings will be directed by new information on the local landscape for early years provision. This could potentially include encouraging settings to attend WRAP training, BPCN workshops as well as use of the Birmingham Safeguarding Children Board website. The East network meeting has organised for a PC from the local

Neighbourhood Watch Team to provide advice on safety. Kate McGrath, Play Coordinator at Sunshine Club based in St. Joseph’s RC Primary School attended the network meeting for the north:

“The session was a positive

experience for me, it was a welcoming atmosphere that allowed us all to talk, and be heard. With so many changes happening it was nice to have the support and the opportunity for my voice to be heard outside of my own club” If any settings are happy to host the network meetings then BPCN welcomes the opportunity, this can be progressed by contacting a project worker or administrator at Birmingham PlayCare Network on 0121 236 2917. Ellee Gunnell, Project Worker at Birmingham PlayCare Network.

The Birmingham PlayCare Network magazine bpcn.org.uk




Birmingham City Council consultation for Early Years Services Review Project open Birmingham City Council oversees the provision of Early Years Services, opening up discussions with the local population on how this service should be delivered in the UK’s second city.


irmingham City Council is leading a review of the way that Early Years Services are provided in order to ensure that every child living in Birmingham has the same chance to have a good start in life. As part of the review, Birmingham City Council ran a consultation period from Monday 30th November to 28th February on how people want these key services to be delivered in the future. The consultation document outlines plans for early years services and provides the opportunity for the Council to get the city’s views. A Birmingham City Council spokesperson said:

“Everyone’s views are important

and we would ask that you share the information about this consultation with those people who might be affected by any of these changes.

“There are eight questions that we

would like you to respond to but we also welcome any other comments you might wish to make in relation to Early Years Services in Birmingham.” The Early Years Consultation questions can be found at https://www. birminghambeheard.org.uk/people-1/ early-years-1. Alternatively, paper copies of the consultation questions will be available from Children’s Centres and Health Centres. Early Years Services are provided to

support parents from the time a child is conceived up until the age of five. How well a child does in their early years has a huge impact on how they do in the rest of their lives. Birmingham’s Early Years Services provide support to around 100,000 parents and 80,000 children at any one time. A spokesperson from Birmingham City Council added:

“To enable us to deliver the results we want for children and parents we will need to radically rethink how we will work in the future.” The plans The ambitious plans surrounding the project include creating a new integrated Health and Wellbeing Offer for parents by changing the way that the following services are delivered: Children’s centres Health visiting and family nurse partnerships Parenting support services Pregnancy and breastfeeding support services Open forums Birmingham City Council also conducted a number of open forums for those who were interested in the proposals including sessions at The Pavilion (25th January), Bournville College (26th January) and Birmingham City Football Club (28th January).

The Birmingham PlayCare Network magazine bpcn.org.uk




National Council for Voluntary Youth Services calls for ‘National Safeguarding Day’ The ‘Stop Look Listen Campaign’ dedicates a specific day in February for listening to young people and prioritising their needs, with the aim of increasing the national quality of safeguarding.


he National Council for Voluntary Youth Services recently put a call out for all children and youth organisations to make 29th February a ‘National Safeguarding Day’.

organisations reflecting and assessing the effectiveness of the service that they provide for children, as it is about encouraging workers to listen to what children have to say. Sam added:

The campaign

“By sharing this with others, we can

This campaign has been coined ‘The Stop Look Listen Campaign’ and encourages organisations to stop what they are doing, look at their safeguarding practices, listen to young people and take action. This national initiative aims to inspire and encourage children and youth organisations to show commitment to improving their safeguarding policies and standards. Sam Marks, Chair of the National Safeguarding Forum said:

“It has been a great year for NCVYS in developing our safeguarding network and I am looking forward to another year where youth organisations come together and support each other in regards to the responsibilities and practical approaches to safeguarding.

“The Stop Look Listen Campaign


remind ourselves that we are not alone, while not forgetting that young people are active participants in the work that we do. So take some time not only to stop and look at what you and your organisation is doing, but also listen to what young people say and how they think you can make the organisation safer for them.” The final weekday of February was chosen to focus on safeguarding as it means that every four years there’s an opportunity to take this extra day in the calendar to take a “step forward” with safeguarding practice. The National Council for Voluntary Youth Services was established in 1936 and now boasts over 175 national, regional and local networks working with and for young people.

is a great way for us to consolidate this, by putting some time aside and really thinking about simple and effective ways that we can reaffirm our commitments to safeguarding.” The campaign is as much about

To find out more, search NCVYS National Safeguarding. Article sourced from National Council for Voluntary Youth Services website: http://www.ncvys.org.uk/stop-look-andlisten-national-safeguarding-day.

The Birmingham PlayCare Network magazine bpcn.org.uk

This would be a great thing for the play care sector - Emma Payne, Business Development Manager at BPCN The Stop Look Listen Campaign is a great initiative to ensure that children’s voices are heard - Rebecca Coley - Projects and Fundraising Manager at BPCN Incorporating a designated day for this initiative ensures that awareness is increased as much as possible - Josh Mitchell, Play Worker at BPCN and Manager of The Scrapstore Birmingham. The national scale of the initiative takes this to the next level - Shirley Gayle, Project Woker at BPCN.

” 17



Vodafone marks Safer Internet Day by launching #BeStrong Anti-Bullying App Anti-bullying emojis have been implemented as part of the #BeStrong Vodafone campaign to help young people be “confidently connected in the digital world” and reduce cyber bullying.


lobal telecommunications company Vodafone has launched an ‘Anti-Bullying Emoji Keyboard App’ in support of Safer Internet Day, which took place on 9th February 2016. The app is the latest development in the company’s #BeStrong campaign launched in late 2015 including a series of other anti-bullying initiatives. A spokesperson from Vodafone said:

“We’re always looking for ways to help

young people be confidently connected in the digital world and we’re proud to support Safer Internet Day (9 February 2016) once again this year.

“We hope our emoji keyboard app will help young people all over the world to stand up to cyber bullies and #BeStrong online.”

Vodafone’s #BeStrong Emoji Keyboard App was made available from February 9th 2016 for free download on the iTunes App Store and is coming soon on Google Play.

face bullying. 43% of teens think cyber bullying is a bigger problem than drug abuse and 41% commented that cyber bullying has made them feel depressed For each view, like and direct share of or helpless. Vodafone’s #BeStrong emoji messages and supporting videos through Many young people find it hard to talk Facebook, Twitter and YouTube until about cyber bullying with their parents 20th February 2016, the Vodafone or guardians and aren’t sure how to Foundation will donate £1 up to a support friends who are affected by maximum of £100,000 to selected antiit. 43% said they would find it hard to bullying charities, including The Diana support a friend who had been bullied Award. on social media as they “could not find the right words”. This article was sourced from the Vodafone website, at: http://www. In response to the survey results, vodafone.com/content/parents/expertVodafone created a suite of #BeStrong views/be_strong_emojis.html ‘support emojis’ to help young people convey compassion and support to friends who are being bullied online. The idea

Cyber bullying research (By Vodafone) The scale and impact of cyber bullying on young people must not be underestimated. A new global survey by Vodafone and YouGov of 5,000 teenagers across 11 countries reveals that around one in five teenagers have been cyber bullied and more than half say they fear cyber bullying more than face-to19

who advised on the creation of the characters for Pixar film Inside Out. The final emojis were chosen by the teens surveyed.

The idea for a ‘support emoji’ was first brought to Vodafone by anti-bullying ambassador Monica Lewinsky, who has been a consultant on the initiative, working alongside semioticians, anti-bullying organisations including The Diana Award and ENABLE and Berkeley University Professor Dacher Keltner, the psychologist

The Birmingham PlayCare Network magazine bpcn.org.uk



BPCN urges children to “develop their capacities” through school playtime initiative The ‘Lets Play’ initiative encourages children to push the boundaries of play and explore the full limits of their capabilities during school play times.


irmingham PlayCare Network has recently given a “large push” to increase the effects of its ‘Lets Play’ initiative, encouraging children in Birmingham to “explore limits, venture into new experiences and develop their capacities” during school playtimes. The programme As part of the programme, BPCN provides a large selection of innovative recycled materials from The Scrapstore Birmingham, which is carefully selected for schools based on observations of the children’s play, the time of year and the playground environment. The resources are restocked three times per year to fit in with school term times. The second strand of the project includes four training sessions given to lunchtime supervisors and teaching assistants, developing their confidence, skills and abilities to facilitate play opportunities. The package also includes five playground-mentoring sessions for pastoral and support staff at each school. Josh Mitchell, Project Worker at Birmingham PlayCare Network and Manager of The Scrapstore Birmingham said:

“Providing a vast range of recycled materials and combining them with the training and mentoring from our team of experts really does equip 20

the students with resources that they need for stimulating play experiences, but also provides staff with the skills needed to facilitate the programme.”

Lets Play helps to transform children’s classroom learning experiences into imaginative play in an environmentally friendly way. It’s all about providing and encouraging creative, outdoor play opportunities and getting hands on with materials.

Playing with loose parts As well as stimulating creativity, playing with the resources provided by BPCN can be “influential” in each school meeting regulatory requirements. Emma Payne, Business Development Manager at BPCN said:

“Using loose parts can help to support staff in their work, and ensure that each school meets the requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage and Ofsted. The role of the worker is crucial of course, but workers need resources as well as skills. The ‘Lets Play’ programme can support this.” Previous successes The initiative has however already seen success throughout Birmingham, epitomised by the recent partnership with Catholic Primary School Our Lady of Lourdes in Yardley Wood. Mike Doyle, Deputy Head spoke about the yearlong support received from BPCN:

“Our Lady of Lourdes children and

staff have directly benefited from our on-going partnership with Birmingham PlayCare Network. The children in our Class Councils highlighted dinnertime play opportunities as an area they wished to develop.

“Following initial conversations we

were convinced that the staff and philosophy of BPCN linked suitably with our own values and ethos.” The programme also prioritises the development of staff and the importance of embedding industry standard techniques. Mike added:

“The detailed training for our dinner

supervisory staff developed their understanding of open-ended play with resources whilst also having hands on sessions examining the resources themselves. This improved dinner staff confidence levels, helping to develop relationships with the children, who have thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to play with new resources, providing a catalyst for imaginative play, a key aspect of a child’s development.” 21

Call 0121 236 2917 to book a session.

The Birmingham PlayCare Network magazine bpcn.org.uk



BPCN joins forces with local organisations to provide FREE outdoor activities for children The ‘Active Birchfield’ scheme runs in school holidays and throughout a selection of weekends, providing free outdoor play activities at Birchfield Secret Garden for children aged five and over.


group of third sector organisations in the West Midlands have recently partnered up to launch an initiative coined ‘Active Birchfield’, providing free outdoor play activities in school holidays and weekends between March and August for children aged five and over.

aspirations and skills of individuals, groups and organisations to make the Birchfield area a better place to live and work, environmental regeneration charity ‘Groundwork West Midlands’; working in deprived areas to improve disadvantaged communities, and finally Birmingham PlayCare Network.

The collaboration involves community development project ‘Birchfield Big Local’; uniting the passions,

Rebecca Coley, Projects and Fundraising Manager at Birmingham said explains the partnership:


This is a real joint effort between this group of organisations in the West Midlands. It’s great to see this partnership develop with individuals and groups adopting the same vision for improving play experiences for children, and consequently improving the future of the local community.

The initiative also includes funding and support from the Big Lottery Fund and leading UK housing, care and support business ‘Midland Heart’. All of the sessions will be held at Birchfield Secret Garden and take place on the following dates: (Easter Holidays) 29th and 31st March, 13:00 – 16:30 5th and 7th April, 13:00 – 16:30 (Term Time Sessions) 16th and 30th April, 12:00-15:30 14th and 28th May, 12:00-15:30 11th and 25th June, 12:00-15:30 9th and 23rd July, 12:00-15:30 (Summer Holidays)

To Pla boo yC k a are se Ne ssio tw n p ork le on ase : 0 co 12 nt 1 2 ac 36 t Bi 29 rmi 17 ng ha .


9th – 12th August, 13:00 – 16:30

The Birmingham PlayCare Network magazine bpcn.org.uk


Come and join us for Easter Party activities at our

Eggstravaganza Wednesday 30th March 2016 2.00pm - 4.00pm Chelmsley Wood Baptist Church Three Trees, Hedingham Grove, Chelmund’s Cross Chelmsley Wood, B37 7TP l Easter egg treasure hunt l Easter bunny sock animals l Marbled Easter eggs l Easter bonnet parade

l Easter wreaths l Find the lucky egg competition l Spring chick play dough All children must be accompanied by an adult

For more details contact the Community Involvement Team on 0300 790 6560 24


BPCN launches Easter Party activity in association with WM Housing Group ‘Eggstravaganza’ is a collaborative project with WM Housing Group celebrating all things Easter, with bonnet parades, wreaths and many more activities for children.


irmingham PlayCare Network is planning to hold a series of “unique” Easter Party activities as part of the newly developed ‘Eggstravaganza’ scheme.

with Easter. This is a time that is really about the children, and it’s important that we embrace this and provide the most memorable and stimulating event possible for them.”

The event, in association with WM Housing Group, will take place on Wednesday 30th March 2016 between 2-4pm at Chelmsley Wood Baptist Church.

The day’s events include an Easter egg treasure hunt, an Easter bonnet parade, Easter wreaths and a ‘Find the lucky egg’ competition amongst many other activities. For more details contact the Community Involvement Team at WM Housing Group on 0300 790 6560.

Event coordinator and Projects and Fundraising Manager at Birmingham PlayCare Network, Rebecca Coley said:

“We are all looking forward to holding

such a fun seasonal event including all of the traditional activities associated 25

The Birmingham PlayCare Network magazine bpcn.org.uk

Collaborating with WM Housing Group for is a strong development for Birmingham PlayCare Network. Getting a well-established organisation in the West Midlands to champion this vision is something that we are proud of, and we are thrilled to be involved - Emma Payne, Business Development Manager at Birmingham PlayCare Network.

” 25


Emma Payne, Business Development Manager - BPCN Find out more about the person who makes Birmingham PlayCare Network tick, and the development of the organisation.


How did you get into the play care sector?

My natural background has always been in early years provision, as a girl growing up in the 80s I felt as if my career choices were extremely limited and childcare was an option that I was encouraged to take. However I got into play work purely by accident, starting initially as a mentor at BPCN, then studying at night school for play work qualifications alongside. This really increased my knowledge and understanding of the sector, and here I am 14 years later.


How has BPCN progressed in your time at the organisation?

As I previously mentioned, I worked as a mentor between 2002-2009, then moving into the business development manager role alongside Rebecca Coley, who was

previously a development worker. From 2009 we’ve totally diversified the business. Previously we provided two services: a mentoring package and ‘Play in Parks’ workshops, now we’ve probably got in excess of 15 different services that we offer including extra strands: The Scrapstore Birmingham, ‘Creative Food Fantasia’, ‘Trash to Treasure’ workshops and working alongside schools and their lunchtime supervisors in ‘Lets play’. We then transferred from Balsall Heath Initiative Centre to The big Peg, which has been a very good move for us. This really feels like a hub of creativity, enabling us to engage with local artists to support delivery and encourage members to be inspired creatively through new location and associated partnerships. Having previously been situated in a deprived area of Birmingham, the staff did adopt a nervous disposition, we definitely felt more welcomed into the community of the Jewellery Quarter. We want people to feel comfortable and we want to be approachable, that is so important. This new location changed other people’s perception of us. A one off consultation with a private business advisor helped to change our mind-set on how to run the business, thinking of services as unique products with an emphasis on income generation and servicing clients. This emphasised


how everything has to contribute financially back to the core of the business. This inspired the rebrand that came in 2010 by independent design agency Rockfish. Without this guide and steer, the organisation would not appear as it does today.


What would you do differently and why?

I would’ve opened the Scrapstore Birmingham sooner because recycled materials and play complement each other so well.


What are the main challenges?

What are your main successes?

Implementing the ‘Play in Parks’ scheme – this is where we show people that we can actually do play work. We’ve been running this for 14 years, and delivered to in excess of 15,000 children from over 100 different park locations. We have children that come to Moonlit Park, Five Ways year after year in the summer holidays.


I would say that educating parents to the importance of pure play like outdoor activities and hands-on exercises. As society is changing, reinforcing traditional notions of play, veering away from modern developments with the social acceptance of kids being conveniently playing with iPads and digital things has presented a massive challenge. Also, working in a current climate of fear of liability makes things difficult, especially when considering how we are constantly working towards financial independence and maintaining our survival.



What can possible members and donors expect if they get involved with BPCN?

They can expect a re-energising shot of play into their childcare service. Spending time with a BPCN mentor is reinvigorating, refreshing and inspiring. I’d like people to think: “I’ve listened to what PBCN have said, and have acquired knowledge and advice that I can take away with me and implement within my capabilities.”

What advice would you give to other play work professionals?

Think about the product and make sure that whoever is presenting the product has a true passion for play work. You need to be convinced that what you are doing is right, if people disagree then that’s okay because we’ve got a vision, we see the value and have genuine belief. I would also stress the importance of being convincing in the messaging. A captivating and engaging presentational style is essential to get people to invest in you. Determination for what you believe in is a must, as the benefit of delivering play work often outweighs the risk of delivery.


The Birmingham PlayCare Network magazine bpcn.org.uk


ON THE MAP Take a look at Birmingham PlayCare Network’s targeted spots for its ‘Play in Parks’ scheme in summer 2016.



25th July - 29th July 11am - 4pm Summerfield Park, Dudley Rd/City Road, Soho, Birmingham, B16 0LP Funded by Children in Need




2nd August 11am - 4pm Thelbridge Park, Thelbridge Road, Longbridge, Birmingham, B31 4ND Funded by Family Optima


9th August - 12th August 1pm - 4.30pm Birchfield Secret Garden, Handsworth, Birmingham, B20 3RA Funded by Groundwork, Active Neighbourhoods


22nd August - 26th August 11am - 4pm Moonlit Park Bellbarn Road, Birmingham, B15 2BL Funded by Children in Need

4th August 11am - 4pm Benmore Estate, Benmore Road, Birmingham City Centre, B13 8JT Funded by Family Optima

15th August - 19th August 11am - 4pm Bloomsbury Park, Oliver Street, Nechells, Birmingham, B7 4NX Funded by Children in Need



Play Principles Workshop - 15/03/2016




The Scrapstore Birmingham supports the reuse of unwanted materials that have been donated by businesses across Birmingham.


he Scrapstore Birmingham is a Birmingham PlayCare Network resource that officially opened its doors in October 2011. It collects and sort waste/surplus materials, which would often be diverted to landfill, and redistributes it to out of school providers, schools and community groups. Why donate? The scrapstore offers out of school providers, schools, community groups and individuals the opportunity to access a wide range of high quality materials, save money and promote the reuse of waste materials. Corporate donors The organisation currently receives support ftom a number of corporate partners in Birmingham. Corporate donors include H&M, Disney and the latest addition of national leading book supplier Waterstones. The first delivery from the national organisation was made on Friday 11th March and included six boxes of brand new books from the Birmingham branch. Project and Fundraising Manager at Birmingham PlayCare Network, Rebecca Coley said: 32

In terms of usage for our partners and settings, this is ideal stock for a comfy corner or reading area for children to sit, relax and read. It is really important for us to be promoting and encouraging behaviour like this for children.

The contribution included at least 200 unwanted books, of which a “substantial amount” were teenage books due to be thrown away by the branch and recycled. In addition to the new lease of life that The Scrapstore Birmingham can provide for these books, the development of these corporate partnerships also prove to be vital to the survival and success of Birmingham PlayCare Network, with more organisations being encouraged to get involved based on the contribution of existing donors. Rebecca added:

The Birmingham PlayCare Network magazine bpcn.org.uk

“Partnerships like this are really

valuable for Birmingham PlayCare Network, and this follows on quite nicely from our existing corporate donors such as Disney and H&M. We have seen that as soon as we have acquired one well-established and reputable corporate donor and got them fully on board, it is a lot easier to get others interested when highlighting what large organisations are already contributing.

“This will definitely help to raise the

profile of BPCN but also provide our members and associates with the best resources possible from around Birmingham in order to stimulate the best quality play for children and young people.�




Five reasons to join The Scrapstore Birmingham Here are five little things to consider when thinking about joining The Scrapstore Birmingham if you are unsure as to whether your contribution will make a difference.


It’s good for the environment The Scrapstore enables settings to have access to recycled clean materials, which would otherwise end up in landfill sites.



Regular stock updates There’s always something new to get your hands on with regular deliveries and a fast developing list of donors to widen the choice.


5. 35

It’s a smart move financially Resources are expensive when dishing out all the time, for a “oneoff” annual fee you get unlimited access.

Ideas and inspiration It’s not just about getting great materials at a slice of the price, but creativity packs and members of staff encourage all members to think outside of the box with their newly acquired materials.

Something for everyone The vast range of materials and hidden treasures present something for all members, whether working with children or being part of a family. The Birmingham PlayCare Network magazine bpcn.org.uk

Materials wishlist The Scrapstore Birmingham is always on the look out for new materials, here is a list of materials currently on the wishlist (but all donations are gratefully received!). Plastic lids Packaging Card Fabric Felt Reels and tubes Paper Discarded stock



Spot the difference ...


Spot ALL FIVE differences between these two images from a recent ‘Playwork Principles’ workshop - send your responses to Gill@bpcn.org.uk with the subject ‘FOUND IT’ for a change to win a free membership!



Getting involved?


Emma@ 38

The Birmingham PlayCare Network Magazine bpcn.org.uk

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@bpcn.org.uk 39

Caring about play bpcn.org.uk