Who we are

Our Vision

Play Scotland works to promote the importance of play for all children and young people, and campaigns to create increased play opportunities in the community.

Staff and Board of Directors

Staff: Marguerite Hunter Blair, Chief Executive; Debbie Willett, Learning & Development Officer; Cherie Morgan, Play Development Officer; Sharon McCluskie, Office & Information Manager

Board: Harry Harbottle, Chair; Andrea McMillan, Vice Chair; John Cleary, Treasurer; Ross Dunn, Company Secretary; Susan Elsley; Simon Knight; John McKendrick; Sue Palmer; Paul Gallacher

Our Mission

To increase awareness of the importance of play to the development of children and young people in Scotland.

To ensure that all children and young people in Scotland have equal access to diverse and quality play opportunities that meet their individual need.

Play Scotland’s work is underpinned by the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child Article 31 which states:

“State parties recognise the right of the child to rest and leisure, to engage in play and recreational activities appropriate to the age of the child and to participate freely in cultural life and the arts.”

For a copy of UN Convention of the Rights of the Child click here.

About Play Scotland

  • Formed in 1998 to support the Child’s Right to Play and make children’s play rights a reality in Scotland
  • Membership organisation and registered charity funded by the Scottish Government

 Priorities for Play Scotland

  • Political Lobbying for a Play Policy and a Strategic Approach to Play in Scotland
  • Developing Strategic Resources to support the Play Sector in Scotland
  • Workforce Development of the Playwork Sector
  • Research into Play Provision in Scotland (space to play, time to play, funding for play)

What is the Problem?

  • Lack of Play Space and Mobility
  • Childhood Obesity, Mental Health Problems and Bullying
  • Young People Unable to Assess and Manage Risk
  • Young People with Poor Social Skills and lack of Ability to handle Conflict and Cultural Difference

Play is Part of the Solution

The benefits to children and young people and the community from a strategic approach to play are profound. Children will:

  • Enjoy better physical, emotional and mental health
  • Develop social skills and responsibility
  • Appreciate the environment
  • Understand risk and challenge
  • Grow identity and self esteem
  • Participate in sports, arts and culture
  • Be less likely to offend and engage in anti-social behaviour

Play Scotland Aims

  • Influencing Policy towards achieving a Statutory commitment to Play
  • A Regional Infrastructure to grow and support the Play Sector throughout Scotland
  • Support develop and resource opportunities for Play in Scotland
  • Lead contributor in the Professional Development of Play and the Play Workforce in Scotland
  • Initiate and increase research and academic based information on the benefits of Play, including Free Play, Risk management, Challenges, Play-Friendly Community Spaces

Play Scotland Objectives

  • Promote Article 31 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child- the Child`s right to Play
  • Seek commitment from the Scottish Government to make Play a Statutory requirement so that Local Authorities provide high quality, affordable and accessible, formal and informal play sites and challenges, supported by a Universal Play Fund
  • Work with Scottish Government to ensure that Play is prioritised within Local Authority Planning
  • Work with Strategic Partners to deliver good quality Play opportunities in diverse settings for all children and young people in Scotland
  • Promote local Play Associations and build clusters, networks and forums to sustain “free play opportunities”
  • Promote equity, inclusion and diversity in Play provision
  • Provide continuous professional development opportunities  for Playworkers
  • Work with relevant Sector Skills Councils to ensure Employers needs are met in the Play Sector
  • Promote research which demonstrates the benefits of Play
  • Commission research into Play Provision in Scotland