The following organisations have kindly offered their words of support for our Nowhere to Play report:
Helen Griffiths, Chief Executive, Fields in Trust
“Play is the first step children take towards physical literacy and an active lifestyle and therefore investing in play spaces and securing their future should be a priority in combating the negative health impacts of a sedentary population. Parks and playgrounds are vulnerable to closure in these challenging times and it’s important that we revalue the enormous contribution they make to our communities. Fields in Trust welcomes this new research from the API and supports the call for increased investment that will positively impact the health and wellbeing of children and young people.”
Dr Amanda Gummer, Founder, Fundamentally Children
Any reduction of play facilities in communities is short-sighted and detrimental to the development of future generations. Outside play is a vital component of a balanced play diet – it’s like the fruit and veg of a nutritional diet- very difficult to get too much of. Playing outside increases activity -helping in the fight against obesity, promotes social interaction – helping in the fight against mental illness and social isolation, reduces stress and makes the neighbourhood safer for everyone – the more people using outside spaces, the closer the community and the safer it becomes. With cars being made safer for drivers (leading to higher speeds) and increased traffic on the roads, it’s more important than ever that children have safe spaces to play.”
Julian Knight, MP for Solihull and former member of the Communities and Local Government select committee
“This report highlights a deeply concerning trend away from children’s playgrounds. At a time when we are all trying to combat childhood obesity and promote exercise we need to encourage children’s play. I think it would be most helpful if the likes of the Big Lottery fund could be persuaded to look again at projects which promote children’s play.”
Lord Porter, Chairman of the Local Government Association
Councils are committed to promoting healthy lifestyles among young people and recognise that access to playgrounds and sports facilities are an important part of that. They want to do everything they can keep our parks and playgrounds intact but are doing this in the face of unprecedented budget constraints. Given on going funding reductions, many councils continue to have to make difficult decisions about which services are scaled back or stopped altogether. Decisions like this are never taken lightly and councils are exploring new ways to fund and maintain these facilities. Many are also working with their communities to help maintain them, or through crowd funding for new equipment.
Wayne Grills, BALI’s Chief Executive
“The British Association of Landscape Industries fully endorses this excellent report by the API. As we witness the likely degradation of our cherished parks and public spaces through lack of investment, so, too, will we see a generation of young people and adults with mental and physical health problems exacerbated by lack of access to outdoor play and physical activity. The loss of playgrounds up and down the country is unforgivable. We should look at a different model where outdoor ‘play’ and exercise for all ages is somehow integrated so that a trip to the local playground involves the entire family, from children to grandparents.
Peter Barlow, Director Yorkshire Play
“YORKSHIRE PLAY, the not-for-profit charitable organisation promoting play across Yorkshire and the Humber, endorses the API’s report highlighting the deficiencies in funding for the on going maintenance of children’s play across the country. Yorkshire Play echoes the call for the Government to act on this report by allocating targeted funds to ensure that the current level of provision can be maintained and to recognise the significant health benefits which outdoor play brings at a time when childhood obesity is at a critically high level.”
Keith Dalton, Vice Chairman, Register of Play Inspectors International
“The RPII (Register of Playground Inspectors International) has seen first-hand the decline in play provision and the steady worsening of the condition of many play areas around the country. Play is absolutely vital to children’s health & wellbeing and public provision of such facilities has an important role to play in helping to ensure that children learn about risks in environments where the level of risk can be managed. The RPII welcomes this new research from the API and encourages the call for increased investment to help ensure the wellbeing of children and young people.”