What happens here?

Lollard Street Adventure Playground provides free, open access, adventurous play sessions after school and in all school holidays. We offer high quality play opportunities for children and young people aged 6-16 years old which are supervised by qualified and experienced team of playworkers. We are not a childcare provider.

A few examples of what happens at the playground are, den building, campfires, zip lining, cooking, table tennis, pool, drumming, all sports, climbing, painting, planting plus many many more. See our gallery for more examples.

The play project aims to support children and young people and their parents/carers to feel confident about playing through creating a playful environment where children are encouraged to take responsibility for their own play. This allows them to experience risk and challenge which is crucial in order to support the development of key skills. Playworkers will be on hand whenever children may need them.

The play project is staffed by a team of playworkers who are trained to understand the complex nature of children’s play. Playworkers aim to create rich play environments which support children to extend their play experiences.

What is Playwork?

Playwork is a profession and playworkers are trained to do their job. Playwork has developed from a need to compensate children for the loss of natural play spaces and a reduction in the freedom needed to play.

What do Playworkers do?

  • Playworkers facilitate inspiring spaces where the conditions are right for freely chosen play to occur.
  • They provide children with access to a wide range of resources which help them play.
  • Playworkers support children to construct, dismantle and therefore adapt their own play environments.
  • Playworkers try to avoid getting in the way or interfering with the play process whenever possible and only become involved in play if necessary due to health and safety reasons or if invited to do so by the child.
  • Playworkers understand the importance of children experiencing challenge in their play and are trained to balance risks with need to protect children from serious injury.
  • Playworkers identify and remove barriers to children’s’ play.
  • Playworkers empower children and therefore support them to raise their self-esteem and build their confidence.
  • Playworkers strive to remember what it was like to be a child and are sympathetic and supportive of children’s play behaviour.

The Playwork Principles

These Principles establish the professional and ethical framework for playwork and as such must be regarded as a whole. They describe what is unique about play and playwork, and provide the playwork perspective for working with children and young people. They are based on the recognition that children and young people’s capacity for positive development will be enhanced if given access to the broadest range of environments and play opportunities.

1. All children and young people need to play. The impulse to play is innate. Play is a biological, psychological and social necessity, and is fundamental to the healthy development and well-being of individuals and communities.

2. Play is a process that is freely chosen, personally directed and intrinsically motivated. That is, children and young people determine and control the content and intent of their play, by following their own instincts, ideas and interests, in their own way for their own reasons.

3. The prime focus and essence of playwork is to support and facilitate the play process and this should inform the development of play policy, strategy, training and education.

4. For playworkers, the play process takes precedence and playworkers act as advocates for play when engaging with adult led agendas.

5. The role of the playworker is to support all children and young people in the creation of a space in which they can play.

6. The playworker’s response to children and young people playing is based on a sound up to date knowledge of the play process, and reflective practice.

7. Playworkers recognise their own impact on the play space and also the impact of children and young people’s play on the playworker.(Endorsed by SkillsActive – May 2005)

8. Playworkers choose an intervention style that enables children and young people to extend their play. All playworker intervention must balance risk with the developmental benefit and well-being of children.