Birmingham PlayCare Network is an organisation that advocates for play. In simple terms we believe children’s play is not only important but essential for their health, development, well being and fundamental to children’s enjoyment of their childhood.
BCPN supports Play England’s manifesto which sets out three simple pledges for all children and young people to have the freedom and space to play enjoyed by previous generations.
- To make all residential neighbourhoods child friendly places where children can play outside.
- To give all chidlren the time and opportunity to play throughout childhood.
- To give all children somewhere to play – in freedom and safety after school and in the holidays.
The playwork principles say that all children and young people need to play and that it is a process that is freely chosen, personally directed and intrinsically motivated. That is, children and young people determine and control the content and intent of their play, by following their own instincts, ideas and interests, in their own way for their own reasons.
Research suggests that being able to engage in freely chosen play has an effect on emotion, motivation and reward, leading to flexible responses to what children encounter in their environments. This helps develop resilience and a way of coping with the world, developing healthy responses to stress and building attachments to people and places.
Play in its most basic form can support many outcomes that we are trying to achieve for children, ranging from supporting those with mental health problems right through to tackling the Obesity Agenda in young children.
BPCN recognise that playworkers support children attending sessions in out of school clubs that create adaptable environments that can be changed to suit their needs, using a variety of loose parts and equipment.
The services that BPCN offer supporting our workstrand of Play Advocacy are: The Go Play Programme, Mentoring for Quality in Play, delivery of play focused workshops, newsletters, resource packs, the delivery of Play in Parks and Envirohands projects, events celebrating play such as Playday, networking events and our support towards the development of Play Birmingham.