Let’s get celebrating our sector! The 5th Annual Playwork Awards


The 5th Annual Playwork Awards will be taking place on Tuesday 4th March as part of the National Playwork Conference at the Winter Gardens in Eastbourne and we are delighted to be sponsoring the Paul Bonel Special Mention Memorial Award. This award is for an individual who has made a significant contribution to the play and playwork sector but who does not fit in to any other award category. This could be a recent contribution, one that has been ongoing for a while or one that is historical. The award is not a lifetime achievement award but for what could be a single significant piece of work or project or something that has been happening over a long period of time.

The awards set out to celebrate the playwork sector and to praise the work done in the industry by identifying people who have made a noticeable contribution and difference to the lives of those they work with.

With significant cuts now happening in the play and playwork sector these awards come at an ever important time to show to all that their hard work and determination is appreciated and has not gone unnoticed.

It is important that we celebrate and reward all playworkers nominated for their never ending commitment and professionalism. Even when times are tough and funds are limited some playworkers creativity never ceases to amaze those they work with.

So please help us recognise and praise the hard work that playworkers have put in over the past year by making your nomination today!

The categories include:

  • Paul Bonel Special Mention Memorial Award  [sponsored by SkillsActive]
  • Training Provider
  • Playwork Writer [sponsored by the Journal of Playwork Practice – Policy Press]
  • Playwork Team [sponsored by Unite the Union]
  • Outstanding Playwork provision [sponsored by International Play Association EWNI Branch]
  • Playwork in other contexts [sponsored by Play England]

To find out more information about each category and to make your nomination please follow this link.

Please note nominations close on the 24th January 2014. 


Playwork Register officially launches


Last week saw the official launch of the Register of Playwork Professionals at the Hayward Adventure Playground in Islington, which was warmly welcomed as an exceptional resource for ensuring children have the best opportunities to play creatively.

As a recent Health & Safety Executive’s document stated, ‘the opportunity for play develops a child’s risk awareness and prepares them for their future lives’, while children’s right to relax and play is entrenched in the Unicef summary of rights under the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Lesli Godfrey, UK Strategic Lead for Playwork and the Children’s Workforce, said, “The importance of quality play in our children’s well-being and development cannot be over emphasised. Play is increasingly recognised as fundamental for children’s health, well-being and future adult development. The Register of Playwork Professionals builds on the expertise gained from the Register of Exercise Professionals (REPs), seeking to replicate its success by raising the profile of playwork within the children’s workforce, ensuring high quality, rigorous standards and professionalism.”


Lesli Godfrey added, “We know that a broad range of environments and play activities provide children and young people with opportunities for challenge, discovery and adventure. A qualified workforce reassures parents that their children can safely enjoy the benefits of quality play, while being looked after by professional staff – we encourage parents to ask if a playworker is a Register member.”

SkillsActive developed the Register of Playwork Professionals in partnership with employers, playworkers and representatives from key national organisations, including Play England, KIDS, Sheffield Hallam University, Leeds Metropolitan University, Unite, Unison, Outburst Kids, Fit for Sport, CACHE, City and Guilds, Pearson, Scottish Qualifications Authority.

Lesli Godfrey concludes, “The new Register of Playwork Professionals encourages professionalism in the sector, and reassurance for parents. Children and young people of all ages and abilities can be encouraged to creatively explore their world. It is essential that we inspire children to be challenged through play, whilst also feeling safe and supported. Through supporting a child’s right to play, we can lay the groundwork now to ensure future generations have the tools to live fulfilled, confident and healthy adult lives.”

The event was attended by employers, registered members and key figures within the playwork sector and also included a lively debate and Q&A session with Lesli Godfrey, Barry Walden (London Borough of Camden) and Angela Brown (Training in Child care).

We would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for your support of the Register as it wouldn’t be possible without it, and those who were able to attend on the day. In case you were unable to attend we also have a video of the days events included that Q&A session coming soon.