People Make Play: The impact of staffed play provision on children, families and communities.
The best opportunities to play are shaped by people – the ‘software’ of play provision. The People Make Play report, commissioned by Play England from Demos, shows how staffed play services, often run by the voluntary sector, are an increasingly vital element in the multi-agency approach to improving outcomes for children, families and communities and are also thought to be more cost-effective than established statutory services.
The findings show that staffed play services, built around the children’s own ideas about how they want to play, make a significant difference to the children, parents and neighbourhoods. Such provision can be integral to the broader network of support for children and families to live better lives, achieve more positive outcomes and belong to a thriving community. Investment in the skills and commitment of dedicated staff and volunteers can provide some of the best opportunities for the children most in need.
People Make Play states that local authorities, commissioners and managers must unlock revenue resources to enable the maintenance and growth of staffed play provision where it is most needed.
The review is based upon six in-depth case studies at free, staffed play services, these were:
- Gainsborough Adventure Playground Association, Lincolnshire
- Glamis Adventure Playground, Tower Hamlets
- Wansdyke Play Association, Bath and North East Somerset
- Reccy Rangers, Cambridge
- Newbald Church Rooms Young People’s Project, East Riding of Yorkshire
- Wythenshawe Community Initiative, Manchester
People Make Play [921KB PDF]