If you want to make a difference to your local community and improve opportunities for children and young people to play within it, you might want to develop a longer-term campaign in conjunction with your Playday celebrations.
Whether there are local issues you want to address, or if you simply want to raise the profile of play, coordinating a local campaign as part of Playday can help!
To find out what changes could be made to improve children’s play in your area, ask people what they think stops children playing locally, and what they would like to see changed.
Campaigns you could consider include:
- Stop a local play service or play space from being closed down.
- Improve local play spaces (you could galvanise people to improve a public space and launch it on Playday).
- Call for more funding for play in your neighbourhood.
- Argue that play should be considered in local planning decisions.
- Make the case for play
Always keep in mind that not everyone understands why play is important or why we need to campaign to ensure children can play, So making a compelling case for why children’s play needs support is crucial. Highlight the benefits of good play provision to children and the wider community, and reveal the impact when children don’t have freedom and space to play.
It’s important to construct arguments that are locally relevant, using real-life examples or case studies. Ask for children and young people’s views on their opportunities to play locally – what’s great, what needs to be improved and what stops them from playing. Also ask parents, playworkers, and other community members.
Statistics are also useful ammunition to help make the case for play. Check out the opinion polls that have been conducted as part of previous Playday campaigns and pick out statistics that will help you build your case.
Engaging decision makers
To identify who makes the decisions in your area, visit www.direct.gov.uk or www.upmystreet.com for lists of local councillors, MPs and other elected representatives such as Welsh Assembly Members (AMs) or Members of the European Parliament (MEPs). In Scotland visit www.scottish.parliament.uk/msp and go to www.northernireland.gov.uk for contact details for your local council in Northern Ireland.
Explain your issue and what you want them to do about it. It’s good to have one clear message and an action for them to follow up – the starting point could be inviting them to attend your Playday event.