Tag Archives: playwork

Dear politicians, playing children bring communities together – but they need you to protect their space

A timely, heartfelt yet reasoned response to recent political comment on children’s right to play, which I am happy to put my name to. Please share far and wide – and more importantly, please raise the issue with your local candidates. My thanks to Adrian, and to Penny Wilson of Play Association Tower Hamlets, for their hard work in pulling this together.

Policy for Play

Over 100 playworkers and play advocates have united to refute the UKIP claim that immigration stops children playing out together, and to highlight the real reasons for the decline in outdoor play.

This is a copy our letter, which is being sent to 3000 election candidates today, calling for government support for community play.

Play advocates are encouraged to adapt it with local examples and quotes from families to use in local campaigns*

*Please remove signatories if the letter is altered in any way.

Dear Candidate,

Following the recent assertion, from Nigel Farage of UKIP, that immigration divides communities to the extent that children can no longer play outside together, we would like to assure you that in our experience of supporting community play over many years, this is not true.

We would, however, like to highlight evidence of the real barriers to outdoor play.

Play is in some…

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Politicians told: invest in play, and children, families and communities will all see the benefits

Today a call goes out to all UK political parties to invest in children’s play because of the proven benefits to children, families and communities. The call comes from the Children’s Play Policy Forum (CPPF), which brings together the leading UK agencies with an interest in play.

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Play services decimated by cuts

Gate locked with chain Public play facilities have suffered huge cuts in the last 3 years. New data shows that spending by English local authorities fell by nearly 40 per cent between 2010 and 2013. Revenue spending has been even more badly hit, falling by over 60 per cent. As a result, almost one in three councils have closed at least one play facility.

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Fighting cuts to play services: information is power

Play in Peril website screengrabYou may have heard about the battle for Battersea Park Adventure Playground, whose closure was the prompt for an occupation from activists linked to the global Occupy movement. But it is not the only play facility under the cosh.

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When art meets free play, who wins?

Decorated shop window at Sceaux GardensWhat happens when artists who are used to structured programmes work with children who expect to be able to play freely? This is the question I explore here, in an edited version of a chapter from the book The Cat Came As A Tomato, published by the South London Gallery in 2011.

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There are paedophiles in the bushes

A bush in Butterfield Green, HackneyIn this guest post, Eleanor Image describes how she took up the trusty sword of truth, and vanquished a myth. Eleanor is Play Development Worker at Play Association Tower Hamlets (PATH). Tower Hamlets, in East London, includes some of the most disadvantaged parts of the capital.

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Why do our childhood play memories matter?

Robin Moore Adventure Playground photo

Photo: Robin Moore

Playworker and blogger Morgan Leichter-Saxby recently posted a thoughtful three part series of pieces on the topic of play memories. She argued that, while the process of inviting adults to recall their childhood memories of play can be powerful, it needs to be done with care, and may not always be appropriate. I see her point, but feel the technique has a value that is hard to downplay.

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