Through our current and previous roles we have worked closely with a number of playwork organisations including some well known staffed adventure playgrounds, providing them with regular advice and support on a broad range of matters.
In our current and previous roles we have been involved with enabling both childcare providers and schools to consider how they might better plan their approach to facilitating environments where children play. The aim of this work has been to improve children’s subjective experience of play in these settings and support practitioners to feel more confident in their role of working with playing children.
Wrexham Council were setting up a new town centre nursery and the local authority’s play development team (led by Mike) were asked to design and help build the outside space, which currently consisted of a mostly tarmac rectangle. There was a very limited budget to do this but the project managers and nursery staff were open to ideas and experimentation.
A local community council in Wrexham had recently taken on responsibility for covering the maintenance costs associated with four designated play areas and were wanting to consult residents on the future development of these sites. At the same time the local authority’s play development team and planning department were looking for an opportunity to demonstrate their aspirations for enhancing children’s opportunities for play across a community wide area.
Wrexham Council’s Play Strategy 2009-2013 (which Mike, as the local authority’s principle play officer, was responsible for producing) identified the need to develop a new risk-benefit management system that would better support professionals working with or on behalf of children to enable them to experience risk in their play.