Inspiring Scotland has selected nine charities to form a new Play Ranger portfolio tasked with helping more children in disadvantaged communities benefit from outdoor play.
The nine charities will work in partnership to bring Play Rangers to communities in Edinburgh, Glasgow, South Ayrshire and for the first time ever, to the streets and parks of Dundee and Midlothian.
Play Rangers provide children opportunities to access free play provision within their local community – on the streets, in local parks or woodland. They encourage children to attend the free open access sessions and increase parent’s confidence in letting their children play outside.
Fiona McLeod, Acting Minister for Children and Young People said:
“Play is a great way of helping children stay healthy and active but also helping them to develop their skills and build strong friendships. I’m pleased that the Scottish Government works with Inspiring Scotland and other partners to increase play opportunities for children across Scotland, and we can support this exciting expansion of the Play Ranger programme.”
Speaking about the role of the fund, Celia Tennant, Chief Executive of Inspiring Scotland said: “Sadly too many children in Scotland have been deprived of the opportunity to play as part of their childhood which we know negatively impacts on their development.
“We have developed significant insight and expertise in the play ranger model and will support this new portfolio as part of our roll out of the model nationally, upscaling activity and knowledge across Scotland. The new portfolio will receive a package of support including funding, training, individual tailored support and opportunities to share learning and best practice across a really collaborative group of partners.”
Inspiring Scotland has worked in close partnership with the Scottish Government to grow play opportunities for children across Scotland for the past five years. It is the learning from this work which has led to this continued partnership and the development of this Play Ranger focused Fund.
As well as extending Play Rangers across Scotland, this new fund has innovation at its core, testing new collaborative delivery models between voluntary and public sector; supporting children with additional support needs in a community setting and using play as a means of easing community integration in diverse ethnically mixed settings.
The development of this new Go2Play portfolio is part of wider plans for rolling and further expanding Play Ranger activities across Scotland. A Play Ranger Toolkit has been developed and is just one of the resources available to others interested in the play ranger model and is available to download.