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Spotlight on Play

In an ideal future, children in all communities around Scotland will play freely and feel safe in vibrant and thriving social public spaces that meet their needs.

This is the vision and focus of our Go2Play fund at Inspiring Scotland. Through our Play Ranger activities, Family Support for Play and Active Play Inspiring Scotland is a driving force for the development and expansion of free play for vulnerable children in disadvantaged communities across Scotland.

We have worked in partnership with the Scottish Government over the past five years, creating more free play opportunities for children and supporting outcomes in Scotland’s Play Strategy through the Go2Play Fund.

The Play Ranger model is the core activity of the current programme for Go2Play. From local parks to street corners, Play Rangers encourage children to come to free open sessions and take part in outdoor play and activities. Parents who might not let their children play outside are reassured that their children have a chance to play safely.

Play Rangers projects were invested in because children were deprived of opportunities for play. Outside play is often not considered safe, with many parents concerned about ‘stranger danger’. Play Rangers are helping to break through the barriers and have achieved outstanding impact.

As well as improving children’s movement, social skills and health, the model has also demonstrated that it has added impact; it also helps tackle anti social behavior and helps strengthen family and relationships in communities.

How does the model work? As qualified play workers, Play Rangers facilitate play with sessions starting off in a semi-structured way for the first hour and then children play freely for the second hour. Children lead with Rangers empowering them on how to play – everything from den building to chalking to doing games that get them running, jumping hopping and catching.

Nine Play Ranger ventures are already working in partnership to get more children in disadvantaged communities to benefit from outdoor play: Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dundee, South Ayrshire and Midlothian. We aim to support the roll out of the model nationally, boosting play activity and good practice in the sector across Scotland.

Want to find out more about how Go2Play? Learn more about how we are developing innovation and tackling inequality in this report from Spring 2015, an independent evaluation of the fund.

You can access our new Play Ranger Toolkit here. This valuable tool for the play sector was developed by ventures supported by Go2Play.