16 November 2017

The Association of Play Industries is supporting the Power of Play – a Children in Need appeal in partnership with Asda. The appeal will enable 30,000 disadvantaged children across the UK to develop vital life skills through play. 

API Chair, Mark Hardy says: “The importance of play is often underestimated. It’s absolutely central to children’s healthy physical, emotional and social development. We’re delighted that Children in Need is recognising the power of play.

“The API’s Nowhere2Play report revealed an alarming decline in playgrounds in England. Between 2014/15 and 2015/16 local authorities across England closed 214 children’s playgrounds, and when asked about future plans they admitted their aim was to close a further 234.

“These closures will disproportionately affect children in the most deprived areas, many of whom will, quite literally, find themselves with nowhere to play. We welcome the fact that the Power of Play appeal is targeting some of the most disadvantaged children in the UK.

“Children are becoming increasingly isolated and sedentary. The lure of technology, parental attitudes to children ‘playing out’ and, of course, the decline in spaces in which children can play, are all contributing to a national crisis for our children.

“Opportunities for free, unstructured and unsupervised play are shrinking and at the same time the childhood obesity crisis worsens and the number of children with mental health problems is on the rise. Children deprived of play are being denied an essential aspect of childhood.

“Access to safe and free areas to play is crucial for a healthy and happy childhood, as fundamental as getting enough sleep and having a good diet. Playgrounds are especially important in deprived areas where, for many children, they represent their only opportunities to be active and socialise with peers. Without them, we are driving children indoors, onto their screens and away from each other.

“We back the Power of Play appeal and wish it every success – not just in terms of raising funds, but also in raising awareness of the crisis many children are facing and the importance of play.”


API Media Contact: Deborah Holt, Association Manager, 
t: 024 7641 4999  m: 07969533915

Notes to editors: The Association of Play Industries (API) is the lead trade body within the play sector and campaigns at the highest levels for policy recognition of the, representing the interests of the manufacturers, installers, designers and distributors of both outdoor and indoor play equipment and safety surfacing. 

Founded in 1984 the API currently has 65 members. Follow us on Twitter: @apiplay 

The API operates under the umbrella of the Federation of Sports and Play Associations (FSPA), the national trade body responsible for representing 13 Associations in the UK’s sport and play industries.