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Using Play as a Platform for every child to succeed

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Slides from our session at United Way Community Leaders Conference 2015 about the Liverpool Positive about Play programme.

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Using Play as a Platform for every child to succeed

  1. 1. April 29 - May 1, 2015 Using Play as a Platform to Give Every Child the Chance to Succeed
  2. 2. Agenda • Introductions • who we are and why we do what we do • Positive About Play fly –by • What play means to you • Play theory • looking at the science behind play • Positive About Play in a little more detail • the challenges • Strategy and development
  3. 3. Introductions: about Liverpool • City 800 years old • Huge heritage as ‘second city of the British Empire’, The Beatles and Football….but so much more! • Population of 460,000 in the city • 2.2 million in wider metro area (Merseyside) • Population in the city declined consistently from 850,000 in 1930s • …… until last 10 years (up 5%) • City of huge contrasts….and inequality
  4. 4. Introductions: Liverpool and Inequality Levels of deprivation and child poverty in Liverpool are extremely high: •Liverpool is the most deprived local authority area nationally. •Just over a third of Liverpool children (34.4%) live in poverty and in some areas of the city three fifths of children live in poverty. •In some schools in the city 73% of children are eligible for Free School Meals. •More than a third of Liverpool wards have unemployment rates that are twice the national average and Liverpool's incapacity rate is nearly twice the national rate. •Liverpool has a larger proportion of the working age population with no qualifications than nationally.
  5. 5. Introductions: about LCVS • LCVS established in 1909 to “help charities co-ordinate their efforts” • At the forefront of social action in Liverpool, and nationally, for over a century • Diverse range of services and activities with an underpinning, clear, aim: • Together – for Liverpool – for Good
  6. 6. Slide Example With Medium Photo
  7. 7. Positive About Play – What exactly is a playscheme? • Play schemes provide vital out of school provision for children in safe, group environments. • Play schemes vary in their shape and size, in where they take place and who runs them, but every play scheme has, at its heart, the commitment to proving children with the chance to play, explore and learn together (with adult support when it’s needed).
  8. 8. Positive about Play ‘fly-by’ • In the 1980’s Liverpool had over 200 playschemes • Cuts to budgets gradually reduced this figure to less than 30 in 2011 • Local groups and families were telling us that more provision was needed for out of school activities • At the same time, foodbanks were on the rise as families found it hard to get by • So what to do….?
  9. 9. Positive About Play ‘fly-by’ • We convened local partners involved in children’s play including the Local Authority • We invested some of our own grant funds and encouraged partners to do the same in a ‘pooled’ budget’ • In 2012 we raised the number of playschemes to 46 • We also teamed up with Fareshare who redistributes surplus food to charities and community organisations • By 2014 we were running over 70 playschemes and attracted support from Public Health and other funders and donors • Our aim is to break the 100 playscheme barrier in 2015
  10. 10. What play means to you – group exercise Think about a positive play experience from your childhood, something you remember fondly. •It doesn’t have to be a life-changing moment, just something you enjoyed doing. •Have a chat with your neighbours and make a list of the activities. Follow this up with another list, looking at the activity, and write down what type of play took place; for example it may have been: •something you did on your own (like sorting bubblegum cards or collecting something) •it may have been physical and social (climbing a tree with friends). You get the idea…
  11. 11. Play theory – looking at the science behind play Plenty of evidence to support the fact that play is essential to our development e.g. • Sutton-Smith, in his book In The Ambiguity of Play, refers to Huttenlocher’s work on brain imaging. This suggests that “children under the age of 10 have at least twice the potential brain capacity of children over 10”. • Sutton-Smith suggests that this ‘over-capacity’ can be exploited if children are exposed to a range of experiences through play. Other research exists that backs up this theory that stimulus through play actually modifies the brain and increases the child’s capacity for learning for life.
  12. 12. Play theory – looking at the science behind play Play is vital to children’s social development. The Play Return by the Children’s Play Policy Forum (2014) found that Play initiatives lead to improvements in children’s health and well-being, and are linked to a range of other cognitive and social developmental benefits. While the evidence is strongest for play in schools, it is reasonable to expect that they will also be seen in other similar contexts. Play enables children to do the following: • Respond to their peers’ feelings while waiting for their turn and sharing materials and experiences (Sapon-Shevin, Dobbelgere, Carrigan, Goodman, & Mastin, 1998; Wheeler, 2004). • Experiment with roles of the people in their home, school, and community by coming into contact with the needs and wishes of others ( Creasey, Jarvis, & Berk, 1998 )
  13. 13. Positive About Play in a little more detail  Play Simply – children are kept safe and engaged in positive activities which contribute to their social and educational development  Play Healthy – children have access to healthy food and get fed when free school meals are not available to them  Play Advice - provides a dedicated advice helpline for families attending the play schemes 3 key elements:
  14. 14. Positive About Play in a little more detail Challenges and moving forward: Partnership has grown organically – now need to formalise We now have a clear aspiration  16,236 children in Liverpool live in the most deprived areas and by 2020 we want them, and all children across the city, to have access to play activities 12 weeks of the year during all school holidays. We can quantify the cost  £760,000 pa / $1.1 million USD
  15. 15. Positive About Play in a little more detail Funding….
  16. 16. Positive About Play in a little more detail  Income coming from a variety of sources  public, private, corporate  Challenge to protect / fund the ‘core’ infrastructure activity
  17. 17. Strategy and development – developing Play in your community Small group exercise •From what you’ve heard, is there a role for a Play Partnership in your community? •4 Qs: 1. What are the challenges in your community facing children, young people and their families? 2. What does your United Way do now? 3. What other groups or organisations support children and young people in your community? 4. What resources (time, money, expertise) would you need to establish a play partnership?
  18. 18. Question time?
  19. 19. More information Tony Okotie Chief Executive Email: tony.okotie@lcvs.org.uk Colin Heaney Policy, Partnerships and Programmes Manager Email: colin.heaney@lcvs.org.uk Liverpool Charity and Voluntary Services (LCVS) Web: www.lcvs.org.uk Twitter: @lcvsuw

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