Play England webinar shares inspiring stories from play workers
Play England has produced a webinar and new practical guide to help organisations adopt a play-based approach as they slowly emerge from the COVID-19 lockdown.
The play campaigning body ‘s webinar gives valuable tips on issues like risk assessments and ensuring safe play provision. It heard some inspiring stories about how adventure playgrounds and playworkers have been supporting children throughout this difficult time for youngsters, while virtually all play facilities have been closed.
After an introduction from Anita Grant, Chair of Play England and also CEO of Islington Play Association in London, there are also presentations from Pattrina Quashie-Ferguson, Operations Manager, The Venture Centre; Katy Anderson, Playground Manager, Haywards Adventure Playground, KIDS; Angela Day, Senior Playworker, Hackney Marsh Adventure Playground, Young Hackney, Hackney Council; and Fiona Sutherland, Deputy Director, London Play.
‘Ensuring safe play provision’
Play England also produced a briefing, Play After Lockdown, aimed at helping support child professionals as they work to reintroduce opportunities for children in England to play safely, now as more facilities are being opened up.
Bob Hughes, play theorist, introduces the briefing, and says: “One of the most toxic effects to come out of the current pandemic is the destructive impact it has had on children’s play; the spaces they play in, the degree of freedom they experience and their ability to choose what they do and how they do it.
“Instead, children have been imprisoned in the home, often in the same space as tired and pressured parents. The potential increase in poor mental and physical health from this mix, not to mention its likely developmental consequences is obvious.
‘Impact on play of coronavirus’
“This short document is intended to provide a framework making it possible to address the issues arising from the impact on play of corona virus and help those who will be dealing with the fall-out when the virus has abated and as parents begin to take their children to different play and child-care facilities again.