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Playful Ideas

8 March 2010

BIG’s national Playful Ideas event took place on Friday 26th February, bringing together funded projects and many other stakeholders with an interest in the Playful Ideas programme. As well as celebrating the achievements of the programme, the event aimed to give the audience a chance to exchange ideas and learning and to take away new ideas, lessons for replication or simply a broader understanding of the wider benefits that play has for children, young people and their communities.

Children’s Scrapstore, World Jungle and the South London Gallery brought their projects to life in the room using video, photos and active demonstrations. World Jungle had everyone – speakers, staff and the delegates – up on their feet, singing, clapping and dancing as part of a Tanzanian game which traditionally helps children to practice counting. Other grantholders hosted tables where they shared their experiences with smaller groups about what they had learned and some of the outcomes, intended or otherwise, from their projects. As if that wasn’t enough at lunchtime representatives from the Eden project led play in the water features outside, alongside a bright yellow double-decker playbus, den building and marshmallow toasting activities!

A packed agenda saw Peter providing the opening words for the day, followed by speakers including Laverne Antrobus, Consultant Child and Educational Psychologist (probably best known to the parents amongst us for House of Tiny Tearaways), Tim Gill, one of the UK’s leading thinkers on childhood, and Adrian Voce, Director of Play England. The Minister of State for Children, Young People and Families (and local MP) Rt Hon Dawn Primarolo MP was unable to attend on the day due to ill health.

The event was hosted in Bristol, at the suitably playful At-Bristol venue in part to share learning from organisations in the South West region who were particularly prolific in securing funding from the Playful Ideas programme for their innovative projects. In addition a case study publication covering a wide range of projects from across the country has been developed for the event and for wider dissemination.

For those not fortunate enough to be part of the fun on the day, some of the best bits will be squeezed into a webpage www.biglotteryfund.org.uk/playfulideas over the coming weeks.

Sara Betsworth
East of England Head of Region

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