Fair Play for Children News — Children’s Play and Youth Work

Jan Cosgrove
74 min readOct 3, 2023

including Children’s Play, Sport, Arts, Recreation, Cultural, Music, Youth Clubs, Youth Work

Fair Play for Children website: http://www.fairplay31.online/index.html

Read previous edition to 23rd September 2023

1st February 2024

Play Wales report: Playing and being well — review summary published

Calling all play experts: City of Reno asks for help choosing playground equipment

26th January 2024

Written Evidence Submitted by Association of Play Industries [CBE 020] EVERY CHILD’S RIGHT TO EVERYDAY PLAY


Why extracurricular activities are important for child development

Editorial: When 6-year-olds play tackle football…

19th January 2024

Children, young people and the built environment inquiry — Levelling-Up Committee publishes evidence ahead of opening evidence session

13th January 2024

Blackpool play streets are go!

KidZania London Closure — January 2024

7th January 2024

How Capitalism Made Christmas A Holiday For Children — OpEd

24th December 2023

Happy Christmas to all our Readers!

17th December 2023

Playground At Nude Beach On Lake Washington A No Go

LGA responds to report on children’s health and leisure

7th December 2023

New look for Victoria Gardens children’s play area is completed

When a Salem neighborhood relies on a school park, who pays for it? — Statesman Journal

Darlington Youth Employment Initiative to close in 2024 — The Northern Echo

Parents Encouraged to Give Children More Freedom When Playing in Nature

24th November 2023

Alleviating Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) in Children

The Play Park at Bhatiary, Bangladesh

Trends in Natural Playground Climbers

Climbing Safety Review

Why Children Climb


Play Therapy: Explore your study options

19th November 2023

9th November 2023

This next one is TEN YEARS old ….

Hamas running Summer Camps ….. TEN YEARS ago ……

3rd November 2023

It’s play hard, work hard at London’s adventure playground of the year

Monday 30 October 2023

A Hackney adventure playground has ‘outplayed’ others from across the capital to win the title of London Adventure Playground of the Year 2023. Shakespeare Walk Adventure Playground was one of 16 shortlisted in the London Adventure Play Awards last week to join the hotly-anticipated annual event run by the charity London Play.

Entries to the awards are in the form of two-minute films, made by children. The group from Shakespeare Walk (affectionately known as SWAPA) were among around 250 excited kids and supporters who converged on the Prince Charles Cinema in London’s West End on Thursday, to see the short films they had made about the places they love to play up on the big screen, enjoy a bit of pandemonium — and find out if they had won prizes.

SWAPA’s winning film featured an original soundtrack, made by children in their on-site sound studio. It played over footage of kids building with tools, lighting fires, climbing, swinging, sliding, putting on impromptu shows, playing in the snow, dressing up and joyfully messing about. Molly Mae aged 12 summed up what she likes about SWAPA: “I like the staff. I like the adventures!” Her friend said: “The best thing about SWAPA is making friends, getting to know other people and taking a break from what’s happening at home.”

In true adventure playground style, there was plenty of fun, games and messing about during the awards event with compere Charlie keeping the atmosphere just the right side of chaos.

Nitasha, chair of trustees at Shakespeare Walk said:

“It was such a joy, so much great energy, I’ve never seen a cinema transformed the way it was, truly a wonderful adventure playground event. I can’t believe we’ve won; the team has worked really hard this year and I really feel like they deserve it. I am so pleased for them.”

Awards were also made in three categories: Best Flick (best film); Weird and Wonderful; and Playworker Dream Team.

A group of budding documentary makers from Triangle Adventure Playground in Lambeth won ‘Best Flick’. Their film showed children playing on the giant rope swings and zipline; roasting marshmallows over a fire; and even enjoying an overnight camp — all in the inner-city neighbourhood where the playground is based. Asked what she enjoyed about Triangle, one young adventurer in play said: “Well, I see all my friends, I get to play, and I get to play for how long I want.”

Gabriel Green, deputy senior playworker, Triangle Adventure Playground said:

“Triangle Adventure Playground was absolutely delighted to win the Best Flick Award at London Play’s Adventure Playground of the Year awards 2023. It is a special and unique occasion each year that really makes a difference to promoting the vital importance of the work that adventure playgrounds do.”

Children at The Markfield Project in Haringey won the ‘Weird and Wonderful’ category with their film epic featuring the death — and resurrection — of Spongebob Squarepants. Weird you say? Yep. Finally, the team at Islington’s Barnard Adventure Playground took the ‘Playworker Dream Team’ award. All those shortlisted in that category had their ‘dream team’ credentials tested during the event, with one game requiring playworkers to submit to children dressing them up for a very out-there fashion show: catwalk compulsory!

London is known as the adventure playground capital of the world; these unique child-led places began on bombsites in the aftermath of WWII and tend to be located in the least affluent areas of the city. In the 1980s London had over 100 staffed adventure playgrounds; today only 70 remain, with 12 having closed in the last decade alone.

Fiona Sutherland, director of London Play said:

“These annual awards are a joyous occasion that we look forward to hosting every year. The children’s creativity and enthusiasm is fantastic to see. But there is a very serious side to this! London’s staffed adventure playgrounds are a lifeline for communities. They allow children space, time and freedom to have fun, explore, challenge and express themselves — building skills, resilience and improving mental and physical health along the way. But despite the amazing work that SWAPA, Triangle and others do, they tend to fly under the radar. Funding is scarce, and most are in a constant fight for survival. Yes, these awards are about celebrating adventure playgrounds and the children who play there — but they are also about raising awareness of their value and building support to secure their future.”

London Play promotes children’s right to play, campaigns for more and improved out-of-school play services for children and young people across London, and supports play work in the capital.

There are around 70 adventure playgrounds across London providing school-aged children with opportunities to play that are difficult to find elsewhere in our busy, urban environment. Fenced and secure, with skilled staff, adventure playgrounds are oases of nature, many located in deprived neighbourhoods. Visit www.londonadventureplaygrounds.org.uk for more information.

Full list of winners for 2023:

Adventure Playground of the Year

WINNER: Shakespeare Walk Adventure Playground (Hackney)

Weird and Wonderful Award

WINNER: The Markfield Project (Haringey)

RUNNER UP: Pearson Street Adventure Playground (Hackney)

Best Flick

WINNER: Triangle Adventure Playground (Lambeth)

RUNNER UP: Somerford Grove Adventure Playground (Haringey)

Playworker Dream Team

WINNER: Barnard Adventure Playground (Islington)

RUNNER UP: LCC at Max Roach (Lambeth)

Also shortlisted: Cape, Three Corners and Waterside Adventure Playgrounds (Islington); ELHAP (Redbridge); Hackney Marsh and Homerton Grove Adventure Playgrounds (Hackney); Make-Do Play (Haringey). Marble Hill Playcentres Adventure Playground (Richmond); Roman Road Adventure Playground (Tower Hamlets);

We are grateful to the National Lottery Communities Fund for supporting these awards and adventure playground communities; and all our other funders for their support.

Power of Youth — Rising Green by Freehaus

Museum of Play

27th October 2023

20th October 2023

Building society volunteers dig in to develop children’s play area at Boughton Astley allotments

11th October 2023

Parents Urged to Allow Risk-Taking During Children’s Play — Mirage News

Doll Play Enhances Social Skills in Children, Study Shows — Mirage News

Toys children play with can have effect on their success in adulthood | The Independent

3rd October 2023

Kate praises ‘really precious’ work of London youth intervention charity

Parents Urged to Allow Risk-Taking During Children’s Play — Mirage News

Toys children play with can have effect on their success in adulthood | The Independent

Doll Play Enhances Social Skills in Children, Study Shows — Mirage News

Children spend just 2% of their week playing. Lego wants to change that



Jan Cosgrove

National Secretary of Fair Play for Children, Also runs Bognor Regis Herald online. Plus runs British Music Radio online