Report of the chair of The Playwork Foundation, Karen Benjamin, to the charity’s first annual general meeting, held on 8th March 2019.
The Playwork Foundation was officially launched on 8th November 2017 at Goldsmiths College, University of London with presentations from Professor Fraser Brown, Penny Wilson, Adrian Voce and Meynell, who also streamed the event live for those who could not attend on the day.
In January 2018 The Playwork Foundation achieved charitable status and in March 2018 members of the Board held a consultation session at the National Playwork Conference to discuss what the sector wanted from The Foundation creating a wealth of material from which we are continuing to work on as part of our business development plan.
These ‘asks’ also helped focus some of the questions for the Roadshows.
In 2018 we collaborated with Play England to co-deliver on 4 Roadshows around the country. These were held in Bristol, at Shiremoor Adventure Playground, in Dudley at Sycamore Adventure and in London – as part of a Policy ask for the sector. There is much work to do on the information collated from these events and there have been further talks with Play England about how to take this forward into policy.
There are different areas and actions for each organisation to take forward, as well as collaboration in meetings with key people and specific campaigns for the playwork sector.
Over the past year we have written letters in support of the playwork sector to Bristol City Council and also given written support to the continuation of playwork qualifications, and members of the Board have also been instrumental in supporting the development of a playwork apprenticeship.
We are working on the development of our policies, currently having a Code of Conduct agreement, and a safeguarding and GDPR policy, but there is more work to do and we are grateful to all those organisations who have shared their policies with us for us to adapt or mirror accordingly.
There are challenges ahead for playwork which include the retention of qualifications, endorsement for training courses and funding for playwork services.
The challenge for The Playwork Foundation is to ensure that we are sustainable, that we can generate enough support from members and that we can secure funding to enable us to deliver on a work programme that will meet our overall aim to represent playwork and playworkers.
I would like to thank the Board of Trustees for their commitment and their contributions, in particular Adrian for his work on the website and to Ali for her work with The Trailblazer group.
Moving forward we need to keep the momentum going and we need a strong and dedicated board of trustees who are prepared to work together to develop a business plan, to secure some project funding, to deliver a regular newsletter to our members and overall keep playwork and playworkers at the forefront of local, regional and national thinking.
Chair of the Board of Trustees
March 8th 2019
Photo: Karen Benjamin and Ali Wood at the launch of the charity in November 2017.