Funded Projects
Funded Projects

Project Details

Volunteer in Play- Employment Routes (VIPER project) October 2013- November 2015

The aim of VIPER is to transfer a volunteer training course to improve the quality of vocational education opportunities for adults entering the children's workforce. Through collaboration, a partnership of 6 countries will incorporate EU best practice to support children's play across Europe and transfer this training programme and volunteering model to become an EU recognised training course.

The transfer of the course has been funded with Leonardo Lifelong Learning Funding from Europe.

The project will:

1. Adapt, develop and blend a play training course for volunteers which aims to support learners in gaining skills to improve their chances of employment.

2. Support training providers and organisations with the resources and training to deliver 'Volunteers in Play - a route to employment' (level 2) course.

3. Support learners to access volunteering opportunities within the childcare and out of school childcare sector, further to undertaking the 'Volunteer in Play' course.

The course will be available for download where there is internet access and available in a number of languages (English, Czech, Portuguese, Turkish, Italian, Hungarian and German). All partners either operate in the sector or have connections to enable these links to be made. It will, therefore, have the potential to reach many VET training organisations and practising play, early years and childcare volunteers and staff, throughout the partner countries and the rest of Europe. 

For more information about the project, visit 

Download the Project Brochure here.

Social Action Fund 2011-2013

Playwork Partnerships is part of the Play England Free Time Consortium, a group of 17 local and specialist organisations working together to increase children and young people's opportunities for play and recreation. The Cabinet Office's Social Action Fund grant  contributed to the Consortium  increasing social action in support of children's play. Partners embarked on a number of exciting new projects to make this happen and Play England's Love Outdoor Play campaign is calls on everyone to Love Outdoor Play in whatever way they can. This could be as simple as taking five minutes to map their local play space on the online map, signing up to regularly give money, time or skills to a local play project, or finding out about local - or national - volunteering opportunities to help more children play outside more often.

The Consortium's Get Involved in Play programme, was a unique project that aimed to increase the number of volunteers in support of children's play.

The programme headline achievements: 

1.2 million play opportunities created

Over 47,000 volunteers recruited

370,000 people who have supported and heard about the programme

Estimated £3.5 million in equivalent childcare costs

Members projects ranged from offering groups of corporate employees team building through volunteering on adventure playgrounds, through to parents being inspired to commit to watching out for their neighbours kids playing in the street after school. 
To find out more visit:


Get Involved in Play - Volunteers in Play

As part of the wider programme Playwork Partnerships project aim was to develop and deliver a short endorsed introductory play training course to support the training needs of volunteers recruited through the activity of the Free Time Consortium.

Since the start of the project in January 2012 Playwork Partnership have written in consultation with members, developed training materials and piloted a SkillsActive endorsed 5 hour 'Volunteers in Play' (ViP) workshop and rolled this out nationally.

The course aims are to introduce learners to the nature of freely chosen play and the roles an responsibilities of the volunteer in supporting children and young people's play within a range of play settings. This is delivered through 5 sections: Understanding Play; The Importance of Play; The Role of the Playworker; Supporting Play; and Play Spaces.

To find out more about the project or the ViP Course please contact Leonie Labistour on


Play Shaper (2009 - 2011)

Introduction and Purpose

Play Shaper was is partnership project between Play England, as part of the National Children's Bureau, the Sector Skills Council for Playwork, SkillsActive and the major play training provider, Playwork Partnerships, part of the University of Gloucestershire. The project was funded by the Department of Children, Schools and Families (now Department for Education) and the Department of Culture, Media and Sport.

The Project aims were to design, develop, pilot and roll out a training programme that will bring together professionals who are involved in planning, designing, building, managing and maintaining public space and those who deliver children's services, including play provision.

The Play Shaper programme focused on the particular needs of children in the design, planning and management of public space. The aim is that participants will better understand the nature and importance of children's play and the characteristics of good quality play space; and the tenets of good practice in delivering it.

The training promoted a greater appreciation of the responsibility of different professional roles in enabling children's safe access to, enjoyment of and mobility around the public realm, as well as the importance of cross-professional collaboration in achieving these ends.

The programme supported the aims of the national play strategy, reinforcing a top-tier strategic approach to play and delivering a long-term change to the built environment and the management of open space. It will also aimed to demonstrate to key audiences how improved play provision can support the delivery of other local priorities, including in particular the promotion of physical activity, as set out in Healthy Weight, Healthy Lives and promoting local place shaping to support sustainable community development. As such the programme would draw extensively from these policies, their underpinning evidence and the various guidance documents being produced to support them.

The programme was delivered by a partnership of Play England, SkillsActive and Playwork Partnerships, working with skilled and specialist training providers from both playwork and other professional disciplines across England. It was coordinated through the regional activities of Play England and SkillsActive to support local authority play partnerships, play pathfinders and playbuilders.

Playwork Partnerships Role in Play Shaper

Playwork Partnerships, under the guidance of the steering group and the other partners, designed and developed the programme and its materials, managed and delivered the pilot programme to Pathfinder authorities in the first year and established a selection process and 'training the trainer' programme for regional training partners for the national roll out in years 2-3. Playwork Partnerships also project managed the national rollout, working closely with both SkillsActive's and Play England's regional centre's.

The delivery of the programme's first phase of development and delivery of training to play pathfinders and training for trainers was by the playwork team at the University of Gloucestershire, drawing on expertise from HE Lecturers in playwork, NVQ Centre staff and the Playwork Partnerships training team.

In years 2-3 the programme was delivered by a range of training providers in the different English regions who were contracted after an open application and selection process and their mandatory participation in a specialist training for trainers programme. These were selected for their access to and understanding of local networks and their influence with the professional networks to be trained, as well as for their understanding of play and issues relating to children and young people in public space.

Visit the Playshaper website here for further information.

Playwork Leadership and Management in Integrated Services (2009 - 2011)


Outdoor Learning Environment (OLE) (2007 - 2009)

Visit our OLE page


CWLWM (2004 - 2007)

Childcare Wales Learning and Working Mutually

Running to December 2007 the CWLWM Partnership worked towards supporting the people of Wales to develop a dynamic, responsive and sustainable childcare sector.

CWLWM is a partnership between the Welsh Assembly Government, Clybiau Plant Cymru Kids' Clubs, Play Wales, Mudiad Ysgolion Meithrin, Wales Pre-school Playgroups Association, Communities that Care, Cardiff County Council CYPPF (Children and Young People's Partnership Framework) and the University of Gloucestershire.

The aims of the partnership are to:

  • Support childcare providers to become better businesses;
  • Support Welsh-language childcare provision;
  • Support the development of dynamic and innovative training in childcare and playwork;
  • Support local communities to have their say in what they want from childcare.

CWLWM is part-funded by the European Social Fund

For more information visit the CWLWM website


Wild about Play (2003-2004)

Visit our Outdoor Play page for information on this project and more.

EQUIPE Project (2001 - 2005)


Pilot Project (2000 - 2001)

PILOT, Playwork Industry Learning Opportunity and Training, was an 18 month project that aimed to develop accessible learning materials for playworkers at a range of levels. Outcomes from this project include:

production of Playwork Take 1 the video;

development and SPRITO endorsement of the Take 5 for Play course, student induction pack and tutor resource pack;

  • further development and SPRITO endorsement of the Everyone Can Play course;
  • development of interactive CD Roms to support the Take Ten More for Play course,
  • development and validation of the Certificate of Higher Education in Playwork via distance learning.

Palm I & II Projects (1998 - 2000)


Pleiad Project (1997 - 2000)

PLEIAD (Playwork Education and Information through ADapt) was initially a 2 year project funded by the European Social Fund, ADAPT. The project's aim was to "professionalise" playwork by increasing the training opportunities for playworkers. This was achieved by offering playworkers in the south west of England the chance to access recognised playwork training courses and qualifications free of charge. For further information about the PLEIAD project you can:

  • view the PLEIAD Final Evaluation Report - this is an Adobe Acrobat file
  • view the PLEIAD Final Report, The End of the Beginning! - this is an Adobe Acrobat file.

Eurochild Project (1995 - 1997)


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