2020 media release

Making a Big Noise for Playday

Today, across the UK thousands of children and young people, their families, and their communities, are Making a Big Noise for Playday, the national day for play.

Recognising the importance of children’s play and supporting children to play in carefree ways, on Playday and every day, is more important than ever.

This year’s Playday theme, Everyday Freedoms Everyday Adventures, highlights the importance of giving children and teenagers the freedom to play and have everyday adventures.

Given the challenges faced by children this year due to government restrictions, the campaign focuses on the unique characteristics of play that help children make sense of the world around them and can alleviate their stress and anxiety, particularly during uncertain times.

• Playing is fun and is central to children’s happiness
• Playing helps children’s physical, mental and emotional health and well-being
• Playing boosts children’s resilience, enabling them to cope with stress, anxiety and challenges
• Playing supports children to develop confidence, creativity and problem-solving skills
• Playing contributes to children’s learning and development.

We are calling on families, carers, and communities across the UK to join the celebration of play from their doorsteps and clap, cheer, bang pots and pans, and generally Make a Big Noise for Playday at 2:00pm.

Jacqueline O’ Loughlin, Chief Executive, PlayBoard NI said:

“The restrictions faced by children and young people over the past few months have been incredibly difficult, with dramatic reductions in physical and social play opportunities. These restrictions have had a significant impact on children, with our own research telling us that they are experiencing increased levels of anxiety, reduced levels of physical activity, and worries about the impact social isolation will have on their friendships.

“Playing and access to quality play opportunities are essential for children. Playday is a celebration of the joy of play, as well as a recognition of all the protective benefits it offers for children’s health and well-being. We encourage everyone to join our celebration this afternoon and make a big noise about play!”

Anita Grant, Chair of Trustees, Play England said:

“In this unprecedented time of restriction and loneliness for children play is more important than ever and children making a noise, seeing their friends, getting outside and reconnecting with the world is essential to their happiness and well-being.

“We are proud that Playday is continuing across all four nations of the UK and our joint approach to supporting children and young people to enjoy their summer 2020 and get to play is as strong as ever!”

Marguerite Hunter Blair, Chief Executive, Play Scotland said:

“The Covid-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on family life. The ‘new normal’ has put a lot of pressure on parents as many are working from home as well as managing the school holidays. For children and young people, the restrictions over the past months have made it even more difficult for them to get on with their very important business of playing, every day.

“This is why Playday is more important this year than ever before. Children need the everyday freedoms and adventures that play gives them. So, make sure that you have some playful adventures all summer long, but especially on Playday.”

Mike Greenaway, Director of Play Wales said:

“This year’s Playday may be different to the previous 32 years – but children and teenagers still want and need the chance and freedom to play. Playing is crucial for a happy and healthy childhood. In times of stress and uncertainty, playing has a positive impact on children’s physical and emotional health, well-being, development, and most importantly their happiness.

“As a society, in this time of crisis, we need more than ever, to recognise and value that every child has a right to play – on Playday and every day of the year. Join us today to Make a Big Noise for Playday – the more voices that call together with us to uphold children’s right to play, the louder and stronger our message will be.”

For more information, please contact:
• Play Wales’s Communications Manager, Angharad Wyn Jones – 029 2048 6050.
• Play Scotland’s Chief Executive, Marguerite Hunter Blair – 077 9595 4856.
• PlayBoard Northern Ireland’s Marketing & Communications Officer, Maria McBride – 028 9080 3380 / 074 2345 6190.
• Play England’s Chair of Trustees, Anita Grant – 020 7607 9637 / 075 0789 2030.

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.

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.

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.

About Play Scotland
Play Scotland delivers children’s right to play in Scotland. Promoting the importance of play for all children and young people and strategically planning to create increased play opportunities. Play Scotland works to ensure all children and young people have equal and diverse quality play opportunities that meet their individual need. You can become a Play Champion for Scotland by signing up to Scotland’s Play Charter.

About PlayBoard Northern Ireland
PlayBoard is the lead organisation for the development and promotion of children and young people’s play in Northern Ireland. Play is fundamental to a healthy, happy childhood and PlayBoard is committed to supporting children and young people’s play through a combination of service delivery and development, campaigning and lobbying, research, evaluation and awareness raising, and promoting best practice in Play and Playwork.

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/PlaydayUK/
Twitter – https://twitter.com/Playday4Nations

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