About Play Gloucestershire

The what, why, how and who.

What we do

Our Play Rangers provide active and creative play in urban and rural communities in the Cheltenham, Cotswold, Forest of Dean, Gloucester, Stroud and Tewkesbury districts. Activities are both school and community based, providing adventure, friendship and fun for hundreds of young people each year.

School aged children and their families are the main beneficiaries of our work. We particularly support children from disadvantaged and rurally isolated communities and those living in challenging circumstances.

Community Play

Our Community Play Rangers take play out to where children live and make play happen. We particularly support children from disadvantaged and rurally isolated communities, and those impacted by adverse childhood experiences

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Play Nurture

Our Play Nurture work provides vulnerable children with the time and space to take part in child-led outdoor play and benefit from its restorative and healing qualities. It’s our way of providing help for children who need more support than our community play gatherings can offer.

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Play Advocacy

Advocating for play and playwork is a vital part of our work. We recognise our responsibility to help children speak out about their play needs, and for us to speak up on their behalf when we get the opportunity in forums and meetings. We spread the word about just how important play is for children, families and communities.

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Why we do it

Our Mission

To transform children’s lives using the power of outdoor play. We believe playing outdoors is an essential part of a happy, healthy childhood and at the heart of a nurturing community.

Our Vision

Happy and healthy childhoods full of outdoor play.

How we do it

Playwork, Playworkers and Play

Our playworkers take play out to where children live and place the play needs of children at the centre of all that we do. We aim to provide children with time and space for play, enabling them to follow their own instincts, ideas and interests in their own way.

Our Funders

Who we are

Meet the Team


Our trustees are pivotal in ensuring we stay aligned with our values and act in accordance with UK law, to deliver the best possible service.

Play Team

Our Play Team deliver active and creative play outdoors all year round, whatever the weather. Their job is to make play happen, and they co-create play alongside children and other family members.

Young Volunteers

We provide volunteering opportunities for young people aged 10 to 17 years old, aiming to develop their strengths and utilise their talents. Most start by informally helping us at play in their home community, before signing up to our Young Volunteer Programme.

Play Dogs

Our play dogs Steve, Rafa and Dapple love to get in on the action.

Our Story

When the Big Lottery Fund opened their Children’s Play Initiative in 2006, our founder Pip Levett saw the opportunity to start a charity to deliver the Initiative’s goals of providing free, inclusive opportunities for play for children, particularly in areas of need.

Coronavirus halts community play. Services are adapted to provide targeted support for vulnerable children and distribute 1,500 Bags of Play

Play Gloucestershire wins National Playwork Award for ‘Frontline Playwork’

Play Gloucestershire wins National Playwork Award for ‘Playwork in Other Contexts’

Play Gloucestershire celebrates its 10th Anniversary year.

The landmark of 100,000 play visits is reached!

Olympics and Para-Olympics themed fun celebrates the success of Team GB at Rio 2016.

Chosen as finalists at the Heart of Gloucestershire Awards in the Community Project of the Year category.

Rural play develops as we take play to a growing list of villages throughout the County.

Food donated by Tesco via FareShare is enjoyed at play sessions.

20 Young Volunteers develop their playwork skills at a training weekend under canvas in Saul.

Play Gloucestershire are proud to become a charity partner of Gloucester Services with the Gloucestershire Gateway Trust.

Staff and Young Volunteers meet HRH Prince of Wales at the official opening of Gloucester Services.

A new way to help children through outdoor play is developed and launched – Play Nurture delivers targeted support both in and out of school to vulnerable children.

The Rugby World Cup coming to Gloucester is celebrated with playful roadshows in local communities.

The Young Volunteers hold an awards ceremony at University of Gloucestershire.

National Playwork Award Winners once again as Playwork Team of the Year.

A new ‘Fit for Play’ programme is launched with Gloucestershire County Council Active Together funding, to get more people playing outdoors and being active more often.

Chosen as National Playwork Award Winners for Sustaining Frontline Playwork.

Our ‘Love Outdoor Play’ Campaign runs throughout the summer with roadshows and Play Festival at University of Gloucestershire, Gloucester.

The Young Volunteers support disabled children at Wick Court Farm residential.

High Sheriff of Gloucester Hugh Tollemache supports us during his year in office. HRH The Duchess of Gloucester visits our Play Rangers in Kingsholm.

‘Playful Olympics’ inspire children and families to celebrate London 2012.

Our volunteering scheme wins a Gloscar Award.

A new digital connection to our supporters on Twitter and Facebook begins.

The Young Volunteers support disabled children at Wick Court Farm residential.

Big Lottery Funding ends.

Parish and Town Councils fund Community Play Rangers as part of new sustainable funding model.

Young Volunteers continue to develop our volunteering programme with residential holidays at start and end of year.

‘Get Out and Cook!’ is launched with campfire cooking supporting healthy eating in local communities.

Second ‘Play at the Park’ event is attended by 400 people at The Vineyards, Tewkesbury.

The Evaluation Trust call our Play Rangers ‘outstanding’ in their independent evaluation.

Young people are invited to become Play Inspectors and tour across the County to inspect and assess 12 new Playbuilder playgrounds for Gloucestershire County Council.

First ‘Play at the Park’ event is attended by over 300 people at the University of Gloucestershire, Cheltenham.

A new ‘Young Volunteer’ scheme is developed by young people on a residential trip to Borfa House in Wales, and is launched later this year.

Now a registered charity, play expands rapidly across Gloucestershire under the Big Lottery Children’s Play Programme, as all six District Councils choose us to provide play in their areas. Flood Recovery Money funds the purchase of our first two vans and funding is secured for the other four vans later in the year.

Pip persuades Matthew Arthur, Mark Gale and Ann Simpson to become founding directors. They consult with a group of local advisors and Play Gloucestershire becomes a company limited by guarantee.