Oxfordshire Play Association have funding for the ‘Oxfordshire’s Playful Communities’ project, which provides support, information and funding to rural areas to run play-based events in local venues such as village halls and village green spaces.
The events can take place at any time of the year up until the end of June 2011, and grants of between £50 and £300 can be applied for any time before 31 March 2011.
Jane Gallagher, Play Development Officer for Oxfordshire Play Association (OPA), said, “The Playful Communities project will enable local people to get together to run events full of play opportunities and activities for all ages – good for the community and fun for the young people. Play is good for children’s health - and essential for healthy communities. One of the priorities for rural areas is to increase the number of play and leisure opportunities for children and teenagers, and OPA can help by providing support and small grants. We will also provide a toolkit of ideas to help run successful play events.”
Steering groups made up of local people (including young people) can apply for the grants. Events can take place indoors and outdoors, at any time of the year, whatever the weather. Events must be open to the public and should provide play opportunities for as many young people as possible in the age range of 0 to 19 years.
Heather Weston, a parent from Lewknor, fundraised with some other mums to get a new play area built in the village. She says, “The new play area is fantastic, and it is great to see the children and young people playing there – but having a big community play event would really bring the community together, showcase the new play space, and get people thinking about why play is important.”
Oxfordshire is the most rural county in the South East, and over half the population live in rural communities of less than 10,000 people. “We want to see rural communities initiating play events, and these small grants will be a great help,” says Jane Gallagher. “It’s easy and fun to put on a community play event, and everyone feels the benefits. Many groups who have run an event have gone on to make it an annual event, and some people have also been inspired to start street play and play clubs after school.”
For more information, contact Oxfordshire Play Association on 01865 779474 or email Jane Gallagher. Application forms and more information are available on the OPA website while you can also download a flyer for Oxfordshire's Playful Communities.
Source: Oxfordshire Play Association