Play England is part of the Free Time Consortium, a growing collective of local and specialist organisations working together to increase freedom to play. The Consortium’s Get Involved in Play programme dramatically increased the number of volunteers in support of children’s play.

Over 18 months, Play England and partners:

  • Created 1.2 million play opportunities – that’s actual children out playing!
  • Recruited over 47,000 volunteers, ranging from fundraisers to woodcutters.
  • Supported over 29,000 young volunteers to get involved.
  • Got 50,000 more people involved in social action, giving time, money and resources to get more kids playing out more often.
  • saw children and young people become healthier and more active, families develop confidence to let their children play out and communities value play just that little bit more.

Projects ranged from offering groups of corporate employees team building through volunteering at adventure playgrounds in Lambeth, through to parents being inspired to commit to watching out for their neighbours’ kids playing in the street after school in Hackney and Playing Out in Bristol.

Local people supported play sessions in parks in Birmingham, and on adventure playgrounds from Torbay to North Tyneside. A huge number of young people were supported and trained to become young volunteers too! If you want to find out more about any of the projects, or want to get involved, contact the above organisations directly.

The Get Involved in Play programme was funded by the Cabinet Office’s Social Action Fund. In addition to delivering projects on the ground, the fund also supported the Love Outdoor Play campaign, led by Play England and supported by the Free Time Consortium. You can find out more about the campaign at the Love Outdoor Play blog.

Play England provides a range of support and resources to help local communities to take control of the spaces where their children play.

This includes advice and support for local community groups and organisations to encourage volunteering and local involvement in play through volunteering schemes, community organisation and social enterprise.

If you are interested in supporting children’s play where you live, contact your local Play Association and find out how you can get involved.

Click here for Community Play Resources.