Play Advocacy

Advocating for play and playwork is a vital part of our work. As playworkers, 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.

As passionate play advocates, you will see our Play Rangers and Young Volunteers talking to children, parents, grandparents, professionals, and other park users about the amazing power of play. In this way, we spread the word about just how important play is for children, families and communities.

Here are some interesting play advocacy projects that we’ve been involved in:

Play Inspector Tours

Gathering a small team of young people together, supported by Play Rangers, to ‘inspect’ play provision in local communities, and report their key findings to stakeholders. Our biggest tour to date was a three day, 12 playground marathon for Gloucestershire’s £1.1m PlayBuilder programme.

Love Outdoor Play Campaign

A five month social action project highlighting the importance of outdoor play and play-friendly urban and rural communities. Our Young Volunteers took part in a training weekend, equipping them with the skills and knowledge to help deliver 20 road-shows, culminating in a big ‘Love Outdoor Play Festival’.

Play Space Consultation

We see children as the local play experts. Our Play Rangers have fine-tuned their consultation skills, seeking children’s views and gaining their advice on play issues that affect them. Recent consultations in Ayland Gardens and Hempstead, Gloucester and Mickleton, Cotswolds, have helped them to shape play improvements in their home community.

Kay Lillington

Landscape Architect, Gloucester City Council

“The council uses the play advocacy skills of the Play Rangers when we are looking to update play equipment in our parks. They consult with local children on our behalf, appointing teams of Play Inspectors who evaluate their community’s play provision. This gives us a much clearer understanding of how children access and use their play spaces, as well as learning how they would like them to develop, meaning that we can design better play spaces for everyone”

Hilary Smith

Playwork Course Leader, University of Gloucestershire

“Play Gloucestershire’s play advocacy work is both aspirational and inspirational. Through their work they don’t just communicate the importance of play in the lives of children but also raise awareness of the benefits of outdoor play for children’s health and wellbeing. Hand in hand with this they are inspiring young people to continue this advocacy work through their Young Volunteers programme”.