Play Wales has led the way in championing play – now it needs your help

Play Wales logo and question markThis post invites you to help one of the leading play agencies in the UK and around the world. Play Wales was recently told that the Welsh Government would not continue funding the organisation. Last week Play Wales asked supporters to sign a petition calling on this decision to be reversed.

Perhaps Play Wales’s most significant achievement has been its role in building policy and legislative support for play – most recently in the form of the duty on Welsh local authorities to assess and secure play opportunities. But it also has a track record of promoting play and playwork across Wales over 15 years. This page on the Play Wales website sets out some of its achievements.

I would urge everyone to sign the Change.org petition and to write to the relevant Welsh Government ministers, Jeff Cuthbert and
Vaughan Gething (email addresses on this web page). The decision can yet be reversed, so your actions may make a difference.

People in the  international play field may want to highlight the global significance of the work of Play Wales. For instance, the 2013 United Nations General Comment 17 on Article 31 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child clearly draws on the Welsh legislative model (see section 58a). Play Wales also of course organised a successful and enjoyable International Play Association conference in 2011.

No agency can consider itself immune from the vagaries of Government decisions (as I know only too well from 20 years in and around the non-profit sector). But Play Wales is a respected, effective, authoritative outfit whose record speaks for itself. (I have also found it to be an efficient, helpful client.) To cut the agency at this point – just as rights-based legislation drawn up with its help is coming into effect – seems a particularly perverse act. The Welsh Government has placed a strong emphasis on its commitment to children’s rights in making policy, so it may well be that pressure from around the world will have an impact.

And finally, please help spread the word.

Update 15 October 2014: Play Wales has announced that it will continue to receive Welsh Government funding.

6 responses to “Play Wales has led the way in championing play – now it needs your help

  1. Get the impression someone has been used by WG, should have seen this comming and prepared for it- if they cut money for schools, health etc. it was on the cards!
    see how many people actually support play from the response.

  2. Ghandi is known for saying “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”

    I disagree with Ghandi. I think the key litmus test is how children are valued and their rights are legislated and supported. Get this sorted and a country is pretty much in a better shape both in the short and long term. The moment children are properly recognised and valued in every decision making process then actually it gets the priorities right for any government. It even goes down to health and wellbeing. So suddenly all the environment issues and economic ones need much more careful consideration.

    The Welsh Government has a very good track record here and I think this decision to stop funding Play Wales is short-sighted and quite bizarre given the clear track record and impact of their work.

  3. Play Wales is a model for any country to follow in its support for children at play and those who support them. To withdraw their grant would be a stain on the Welsh government which up till now has lead the UK in its outstanding support for children’s play at all levels. I urge them to continue to support Play Wales.

  4. Reblogged this on PLAY By Nature and commented:
    Tim Gill speaks from experience about PLAY Wales.

  5. Pingback: My new report ‘The Play Return’ makes a powerful case to policy makers | Rethinking Childhood

  6. Pingback: Play Wales funding reprieve | Rethinking Childhood

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