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Organised Outdoor Community Play

About the fund

The Outdoor Community Play Fund for 2021-22  is now open.  This year it has an added focus on supporting parents and facilitating family play. Charities can seek to work with children and their families to encourage them to play and learn together, help to improve attachments, strengthen bonds and parental confidence in supporting their children’s play. Amidst the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, outdoor play is recognised as being increasingly vital, for parents and children alike.

In 2020-21, the fund distributed £380,000 across 23 play charities, reaching more than 5,000 children in Scotland. This year, a total of £500,000 is being provided to help charities who facilitate outdoor play for children and their families.

Children and families in some of the country’s most deprived areas are to benefit from free organised outdoor play activities aimed at improving their health and wellbeing.


2021/2022 Funding: How to apply

A New Round of the Outdoor Community Play funding for 2021/22 is now OPEN for applications.

This year, a total of £500,000 is being provided to help charities who facilitate outdoor play for children and their families.

How to apply:

The first step is to review the Organised Outdoor Community Play Fund Information and Application Guidance Notes for full details about the fund and to check if you are eligible to apply.

Fund criteria:

• Must be a registered Scottish charity.
• Delivery in top 2 deciles of deprivation – 20% SIMD (please read the guidance notes for further information on this)
• Funding to support children and their families to access outdoor play.
• Only outdoor free play – not applicable to organised sports.
• Cannot duplicate any statutory, ELC or school provision.

Application timeline:

1. The application process opens Midday on Thursday April 8th
2. The closing date for applications is Midday on Monday April 26th
3. Review, due diligence and scoring of applications will take place between April 27th – May 10th
4. We anticipate that funding decisions will be communicated to charities before May 14th

Timeframe of delivery:

The funding relates to the delivery of play for 10 months : June 2021 to March 31st 2022.

2020/2021 Funding: The Charities

The 20/21 Organised Outdoor Community Play Fund was launched at the end of July 2020 to support childhood health and wellbeing through outdoor play.

For 2020/21, Scottish Government wanted to support Scottish Registered Charities operating in areas of disadvantage (top 20% of SIMD) to deliver local organised community based outdoor play for children and their families.

Applications for up to £25,000 were considered and £342,000 was awarded to 22 charities, running projects across Scotland in areas of deprivation (top 20% of SIMD)

These cover areas in Glasgow; Edinburgh; North Lanarkshire; Dumfries and Galloway; East Lothian; North Lanarkshire; Midlothian; Dundee; Stirling; Clackmannanshire; Falkirk.

The charities supported through the 20/21 Organised Outdoor Community Play fund are:

Outdoor play tookit

Outdoor Play has a vital role in supporting better health and well-being for children, aiding in recovery from lockdown and in building resilience.

As we build back from COVID-19, outdoor play can enable children to be more physically active, engage with friends and establish a sense of wellbeing.

Building on many of the same ideas as Thrive Outdoors’ Play Ranger project, it can be run in any community, in almost any setting.

Download our free toolkit to help you get started.


Download the toolkit

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