By Neil Coleman, Play England Trustee
On 14 October the All Party Parliamentary Group on a Fit and Healthy Childhood (APPG FHC) launched its latest report ‘Play’. It is the fourth in a series of reports published by the group on major aspects of child wellbeing. It focuses on play as one key positive element within a ‘whole-child’ message, a theme which was initiated by the APPG FHC two years ago and has since been adopted by many others.
‘Play’ has been welcomed by ministers, MPs, peers, corporate bodies and academics alike as offering a fresh approach to a serious and long-standing issue, and has already led to a number of top-level meetings.
The report reads rather differently to typical Play Sector publications and reaches far outside the traditional scope of the sector. The author, former MP Helen Clark, has deliberately aimed her work at a specific audience of non-play people which, coming from an ‘independent’ viewpoint, can carry extra weight in government circles.
Contributors to the report included the Universities of Sheffield, Roehampton, Derby, Cambridge and Leeds Beckett, along with detailed submissions from many independent consultants, local government, the Association of Play Industries (API), Leapfrog Toys and, of course, Play England.
The work of the APPG FHC continues, with forthcoming reports on the government’s National Obesity Framework, Child Mental Health and the role of Sport and Physical Exercise in child wellbeing.
Neil Coleman represents Play England on the All Party Parliamentary Group on a Fit and Healthy Childhood (APPG FHC) and is also a member of its National Obesity Framework working group.