Good news from Wales: following an international campaign, the Welsh Government has decided to continue to provide funding for Play Wales. This reprieve, three months after the Welsh Government’s original decision, means that the charity can continue to promote children’s right to play, within and beyond Wales.
Play Wales stated (in an email sent today):
We are delighted to announce that Play Wales, the national charity for children’s play, has received Welsh Government grant funding for the next eighteen months.
This will enable Play Wales to deliver specific activities which will support key Welsh Government priorities around play and tackling poverty including supporting local authorities to meet their duties under the Children and Families (Wales) Measure 2010 to assess and secure sufficient play opportunities.
Play Wales will develop an international centre of excellence around play; contribute to the development of the Early Years, Childcare and Play 10 year workforce plan and participate in strategic meetings at a national, regional and local authority level. It will also ensure that Playwork: Principles into Practice (P3) learners already undertaking the qualification or enrolling this year are not disadvantaged.
A heartfelt thank you to everyone that has contributed to the Support Play Wales campaign over the last four months be it by signing the online petition, writing to Welsh Government Ministers or sharing the campaign information. Also, as a team we are extremely grateful for the personal support and kind words we have received from the play community in Wales, the UK and internationally.
Chair of Play Wales, Dr Mike Shooter, said:
We are extremely pleased that the Welsh Government has recognised the unique role Play Wales has in supporting local authorities to meet the requirements to secure sufficient play opportunities as part of the Play Sufficiency Duty.
As one of those who were highly critical of the original Welsh Government decision, I can only welcome this change of heart.