Last week, the Association of Play Industries (API) marked a significant milestone as members and guests gathered at the Ardencote Hotel in Warwickshire for the 40th Annual General Meeting and Dinner, kindly sponsored by Groundsfest.

The event, attended by API members and special guests, was a celebration of four decades of commitment to promoting play across the UK. Dr. Amanda Gummer, newly appointed Chair of API, took the opportunity to outline the organisation’s new Vision, Mission and Values strategic plan, setting the stage for continued growth and impact in the years ahead.

Dr Amanda Gummer says: “Children need safe spaces to play and I’m excited to be a part of the API who have been championing excellence in playground design for the last 40 years. It was wonderful and humbling to be at the 40th anniversary dinner with many past chairs and significant contributors to this vital association.”

Among the highlights was a presentation by Jason Gould from the Education Company, who shared plans for a comprehensive campaign over the next three years aimed at promoting API members to the education sector. Additionally, attendees were introduced to the upcoming API campaign – Pathway To Play – which advocates for a national audit of public playgrounds, their long-term sustainability and increased physical activity levels in schools, calling upon the next government for action.

The event also featured a thought-provoking presentation by Helen Ball, Vice Chair of the Society of Local Council Clerks (SLCC), entitled: “What the SLCC wishes the API knew about Community Play Spaces,” offering valuable insights and perspectives.

Special guests, including past Chairs and founder members/influencers such as Mark Hardy, Robin Sutcliffe, Phil Holden, John Simmons, Barry Baker, John Croasdale, Alasdair Wellwood, Margaret Baker and David Gent, attended the evening dinner and celebrations. Bernie Hollywood OBE JP, Founder of the Boat Of Hope, delivered an inspiring after-dinner speech.

Previous Chair Mark Hardy honoured longstanding API Membership Manager Deborah Holt for her unwavering dedication to the association, presenting her with flowers and a gift as a token of appreciation.

The 40th Annual General Meeting and Dinner served not only to mark API’s history but also to pledge its ongoing commitment to championing play as an essential component of childhood and community development.


Bernie Hollywood OBE, David Gent with autographed copy of Bernie’s children’s book.

Mark Hoskins (HAGS Managing Director, EMEA), presenting Andy Yates with his award.

VIP table, past Chairs, founder members and influencers.












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 for play. Its members are leading manufacturers, installers, designers and distributors of both outdoor and indoor play equipment and safety surfacing. Founded in 1984, the API represents 85% of the play industry.

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

Media Contact: Mary Lubrano, Head of Communications.  For further information contact Mary on e: [email protected]  m: 07999 550452