FPfC News — Children’s Play and Youth Work

Jan Cosgrove
31 min readJan 2, 2023

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

23rd March 2023

Inclusive Play Equipment Programme Begins


20th March 2023

18th March 2023

14th March 2013

Fair Play welcomes YMCA “Generation Cut” crucial interactive map of loss of youth services in the last decade

The map has been produced to enable anyone to select a local area to see what cuts have taken place in youth provision in recent years, and ranking each authority in terms of provision. The worst in the country, with £0 spend per head is London Borough of Westminster, whilst LB Camden is amongst the top 5% with £234.56 per head. But the map also shows the % cut in the past decade — for Camden this is 42%, and many authorities show worse than that.

Jan Cosgrove, National Secretary of Fair Play for Children says this level of detail is vital, it corresponds very much with Freedom of Information data obtained by Fair Play which also reveals the large extent to which it appears local education authorities (LEAs) are failing in their statutory duties re youth provision eg under the 1996 Education Act. “We are calling for amendment to that Act whereby the Government would require a return by every LEA on a three-yearly basis looking at compliance with key aspects of the legislation such as sufficiency of provision, consultation of young people etc. It’s also time there was fairness re Government funding. If adult culture leisure and recreation can benefit from government-funded sources such as the Arts, Sports, Crafts Councils etc, there should be a similar resource for youth and children’s play/recreational activities.”

So far, this has not met with a suitable government response which has relied on outlining funding by the government but not addressing the monitoring proposal whuch Fair Play believes could provide a strong pressure on LEAs,

“I hope we can work closely with YMCA and indeed other voluntary sector bodies to move this issue up the political agenda.”

Do You Know the Principles of Playground Design?


13th March 2023

7th March 2023

28th February 2023

South London playgrounds are the ‘saddest’ in the capital

Two south London playgrounds have been jointly named ‘London’s Saddest Playground’ in a public vote. Bromley’s Crystal Palace Park and Leyton Square in Southwark were deemed the playgrounds ‘most in need of love’ on Valentine’s Day, earlier this month.

Children’s charity London Play ran the London’s Saddest Playground campaign in a bid to turn the spotlight on poor play facilities in the capital; and is offering to work with groups who nominated their local playgrounds to turn things around. They will be offered support with campaigning and fundraising to improve substandard playgrounds over the coming months.

Seven-year-old Wilf nominated Crystal Palace Park playground with the help of his mum, Sarah Sarson. “Lots of people use the park and for its size, it’s playground is rubbish,” he said. “It only has swings and a sandpit.”

Sarah added: “Wilf spotted the call for London’s saddest playground and wanted to send a photo of Crystal Palace in. We know the whole park is due to be improved by the Crystal Palace Park Trust, who are taking it over, but it’s sad that Bromley council let it fall into such a state over the years. It’s an important space for so many children.”

Mary King nominated Leyton Square (pictured left). “I’m thrilled to win but also saddened that for over six months Leyton Square’s big climbing frame has been a burnt-out shell that truly deserves the title ‘London’s saddest playground’,” she said. “The most important thing is that this is a first step towards getting the playground restored to be a place that Southwark’s children are proud to play in.”

A close third in the competition was Emerald Square in Ealing, run by housing association A2 Dominion.

London Play’s deputy director Fiona Sutherland said: “Local playgrounds are vital for children’s health and well-being, but too many are blighted by neglect. Some 35 per cent of parents surveyed in 2019 reported that their local playground had been subject to neglect or closure. This has only worsened since the outset of the pandemic. Play is too often seen as a luxury instead of what it is: a vital cornerstone for thriving children and thriving communities too. We are looking forward to working with the winning groups to campaign successfully for investment in play — and in the process turn London’s saddest playgrounds into London’s gladdest playgrounds in the coming year.”

London Play is calling on Londoners to let them know about poor play services, facilities or policies in their areas. As well as poor quality playgrounds this could include after school clubs or holiday play schemes which are threatened with closure or reductions in their services; or too many signs prohibiting play on a housing estate. Email info@londonplay.org.uk with details.


Children’s play parks falling into state of disrepair all over Milton Keynes and need urgent attention, say councillors


27th February 2023

24th February 2023

21st February 2023

20th February 2023

February 18th 2023

February 2023

After Gutting Youth Services, Can the U.K. Still Cut Youth Crime?

Play England has jointly launched the Inclusive Play document

and has been approached by BBC Newsround who were particularly interested in inclusivity provision for the councils across the UK, and they view it is a great chance to collate some accurate data on the subject. 100 English councils are being asked to answer a few questions to assist with this important data. The results will be published in due course.

Play Hard to achieve more

This Risky Playground Is Deceptively Terrifying

Glamis Adventure Playground, UK

January 2023

The best gift you can give your child is boredom




Jan Cosgrove

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