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The latest stories from Inspiring Scotland and our partner charities.

More outdoor play for Scotland’s children and their families

Scottish play charities will share a £550,000 funding boost to help get children and families out to play in their local communities.

Creative outdoor play sessions, active play, and nature spaces for local communities are just some of the brilliant initiatives being supported by the Scottish Government Outdoor Community Play Fund aimed at improving the health and well-being of children and families.

The fund, delivered by Inspiring Scotland, builds on the previous years’ which supported over 10,000 young people and will take place in community spaces such as streets, parks, nature spaces, playgrounds, and woodlands.  The sessions are unstructured and child-led, enabling children to use their creativity and imagination to develop their own games and ways to have fun. This year’s funding is supporting new as well as more established projects and will expand to provide more support for children with Additional Support Needs.

Speaking at the launch of the fund at the Jeely Piece Club in Glasgow Children and Young People’s Minister Claire Haughey said:

“All children have a right to play and there is strong evidence that playing outside can benefit children and young people’s health and wellbeing. We know that families from more deprived areas and those with children with additional support needs can sometimes find it difficult to access play opportunities. By increasing our investment in the Outdoor Community Play Fund in 2022-23, we will help more children to access quality outdoor play in their communities, to be active, meet friends and have fun.”

Celia Tennant, Inspiring Scotland Chief Executive

“We know playing outdoors is vital for children’s health and wellbeing; it boosts physical activity, promotes mental wellbeing, and supports children to learn essential social and emotional skills.

This fund values and supports outdoor play for children at a time when play and connecting with friends is never more needed.  We are striving to make outdoor play and its many benefits a reality for as many children and their families across Scotland as possible.”

 

The Yard Deputy Chief Executive, Jenny MacDonald, said:

“The Yard is thrilled to be part of the Outdoor Community Play Portfolio. We believe in the power of play to reduce social isolation, by building communities of support for families with disabled children, with adventure play at their heart.

With the support of this funding, we will be able to ensure more disabled children and young people in Tayside have a safe and truly inclusive place to play this summer. Inclusion and accessibility of outdoor play creates opportunities for fun, friendship, and adventure, which is vital for all children and young people’s development.”

Parent Action for Safe Play (PASP), Head of Finance, Angela Costello, said:

“We are delighted by the continued support provided by Inspiring Scotland in receiving this funding through Scottish Government’s Outdoor Community Play Fund. 

The past few years especially have been a very traumatic time for children, young people and their families, and this funding will allow us to provide our Outdoor Play opportunities for children at a time when they are struggling emotionally, and their families are struggling financially.  

Our play programme will combine outdoor free play and food which will go some way to help support children and their families in the families in the recovery, bringing fun and normality back into their lives whilst enhancing their mental and physical wellbeing”. 

Impact

In 2021-22, the fund supported 10,634 children and 4,164 families across Scotland through 25 community-based play charities. This round of funding has been increased from £500,000 in 2021/22 to £550,000 in 2022/23.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, outdoor play has been recognised as being increasingly vital, for children and parents alike. By encouraging families to play outside together, charities help build confidence and resilience while enjoying the health and wellbeing benefits of time spent outdoors.

Find out all the 22/23 Outdoor Community Play charities and projects supported 

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