The UK’s annual celebration of play – Playday 2018 – takes place today Wednesday August 1.

This year all four children’s commissioners from England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales stand together to support the importance of children’s play as an essential aspect of childhood as thousands of children across the four nations attend organised Playday events.

Koulla Yiasouma, Northern Ireland Commissioner for Children and Young People, Bruce Adamson, Children and Young People’s Commissioner for Scotland, Sally Holland, Children’s Commissioner for Wales and Anne Longfield OBE Children’s Commissioner for England are urging everyone to play their part in ensuring the creation of the best possible opportunities for all children and young people to embrace their right to play.

The four commissioners are calling for:

  • All adults to consider how they can help children and young people across the UK have time, space, permission and support to play, both in their family life and in their community.
  • Organisations to think about whether they are doing all they can to empower and involve children and young people to have a say in ideas and decisions that affect their rights – including their right to play.
  • Governments and statutory agencies to actively promote and protect children’s right to play through the provision of adequate resources.

Now in its 31st year, Playday celebrates ‘Children’s Right to Play’ as set out in Article 31 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) which recognises the right of every child to play, rest, leisure, enjoy recreational activities and free and full participation in cultural and artistic life.

The four national UK play organisations, Play Wales, PlayBoard Northern Ireland, Play England and Play Scotland are calling on everyone – parents, grandparents, carers, childcare providers and support staff across the UK to help celebrate and promote the importance of play for all children.

In a joint statement, Play Scotland’s CEO Marguerite Hunter Blair, Play Wales Director Mike Greenaway, PlayBoard Northern Ireland CEO Jacqueline O’Loughlin and Play England’s Chair of Trustees Nicola Butler said:

‘We warmly welcome this support and call to action from the four Children’s Commissioners.
Providing opportunities for play is everyone’s responsibility. We all need to continue to work together to ensure that every child has enough time, space and permission to play every day of the year. So, let’s all get out to play on Playday and have the best fun ever”.

-Ends-

NOTES TO EDITORS:

About Playday
Playday is the national day for play, traditionally held on the first Wednesday in August. As well as an annual celebration of children’s right to play, Playday is a campaign that highlights the importance of play in children’s lives. Playday is coordinated by Play England, Play Wales, Play Scotland and PlayBoard Northern Ireland. On Playday thousands of children and young people get out to play at hundreds of locally organised celebrations – from small-scale neighbourhood get-togethers to large-scale public events. For more information see www.playday.org.uk

About Play England
Play England campaigns for all children to have the freedom and space to play throughout childhood. As the national organisation for children’s play, Play England works with all those who have an impact on children’s lives to support and champion play as an essential part of childhood. For further information or to talk to a spokesperson, call 07802 722412 or visit http://www.playengland.org.uk/

About Play Wales
Play Wales is the national charity for children’s play in Wales. We provide advice, support and guidance for all those in Wales who have a concern or responsibility for any environment where children and young people might play. Play Wales upholds children’s right to play. All children are entitled to quality play provision within their communities and we work strategically to achieve this goal on their behalf. For further information visit http://www.playwales.org.uk

About Play Scotland
Play Scotland was formed in 1998 to make the child’s right to play a reality in Scotland. The work of Play Scotland is underpinned by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and in particular Article 31: “States Parties recognise the right of the child to rest and leisure, to engage in play and recreational activities appropriate to the age of the child and to participate freely in cultural life and the arts.” Play Scotland’s mission is to increase awareness of the importance of play to the development of children and young people in Scotland; to ensure that all children and young people in Scotland have equal access to diverse and quality play opportunities that meet their individual need.  You can become a Play Champion for Scotland by signing up to Scotland’s Play Charter.  Full details on our web.
For further information on Play Scotland visit http://www.playscotland.org/ or
Email: sharonmccluskie@playscotland.org

About PlayBoard Northern Ireland
PlayBoard is the leading agency for the development and promotion of children and young people’s play in Northern Ireland. To this end, the organisation provides a range of innovative services designed to strengthen service delivery through advice, support, training and tailored provision. PlayBoard’s work is concentrated and prioritised within a framework of ‘equity, diversity and interdependence’ (EDI), and is consistent with the ethos of human rights, social justice and social inclusion. For further information on PlayBoard visit http://www.playboard.org/or Email: jon.orourke@playboard.co.uk

MEDIA ENQUIRIES:
For more information please contact:
Play England’s Communications Officer, Sophie Bolt: 07802 722412
Play Wales’ Communications Manager, Angharad Wyn Jones – 029 2048 6050
Play Scotland, Marguerite Hunter Blair, CEO 07795 954856   Office: 0131 313 8859
PlayBoard Northern Ireland’s Communications Officer Jon O’Rourke, Office: 028 90803380

Social Media:
Follow #Playday2018 on Twitter
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Playday-1388566451451801/

Images:
Click here to download high resolution images:
Please credit  Play England