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28/10/13 12:59

Planning play time

Action plan to inspire healthy and active youngsters.

Advice and support to get families and communities out to play and help inspire a generation of active, healthy youngsters has been launched today.

The Play Strategy Action Plan highlights the long term physical, social and educational benefits of inspiring youngsters to play. It includes commitments to:

  • Consider how to increase community access to school playgrounds
  • Work with councils to encourage new-build schools that are consistent with the ‘Good School Playground Guide'
  • Provide advice on how to make the most of available play spaces backed up with a £90,000 fund to help charities and play groups deliver play opportunities
  • Update the ParentZone website to give practical tips and ideas for families
  • Deliver the Professional development award in Strategic Planning for Play in five Scottish local authority areas.

Speaking at The Yard, an adventure playground in Edinburgh for families of children and young people with additional support needs, Minister for Children and Young People, Aileen Campbell said:

“Children need to be active and playing regularly sets the foundations for a healthier lifestyle as they grow older and contributes to brain development. Research has also shown how vital play is in encouraging imagination, coordination and confidence to get youngsters ready for nursery and school and the new experiences that holds.

“Play can also be hugely helpful in reaching out to vulnerable children, those who have experienced hardship or have been raised in troubling circumstances, to bond with others and open themselves up.

“This is the first step in reinforcing to everyone involved in a child’s life that play will help them learn and grow and there has been great support from across charities and services working with children and families.

“There are underused parks and spaces in many communities and there are excellent examples of groups using the GoPlay and Go2Play funds, which are investing £7 million over five years, to get families out to play.”

Celine Sinclair, Chief Executive of The Yard said:

“We are delighted to welcome the Minister to the Yard today. As a provider of adventure play for children and young people with additional support needs we recognise the importance of play for improving confidence, happiness, wellbeing and independence among young disabled people.

"We also recognise the barriers they face on a daily basis and the need to improve their access to play. We hope that today’s Action Plan will greatly improve opportunities for disabled young people to play, have fun and actively enjoy their lives.”