Awards for Play 2009
Thanks to the generosity of the community of Aberfeldy and Perth & Kinross Council, the 2009 Awards were held on the 5th September. The Minister for Children and Early Years , Adam Ingram MSP presented the Awards and was tremendously encouraging in his speech about play and its impact for good on children and families. Amongst the highlights was an Award to Stirling Council for its leading work in providing distinctive play experiences. There was also a Lifetime Award to Jane Hook MBE for her work at Buddies in Glasgow.
1. Best Design of a Play Space – Carnoustie Sea Front -Neighbourhood Services, Angus Council
Following extensive consultation with local young people, the sea front at Carnoustie has been transformed into an exciting play area. The highlights of the new facilities make use of existing contours of the natural landscape. Involving existing grassy mounds, with discrete spaces for all ages, it also provides a youth shelter and skate mall. It provides many exciting play opportunities for children to play together or on their own. The central climbing frame is one of the most dramatic features that can be used by children of all abilities. The Trustees commend all those involved in creating this exciting design for play.
2. Best Community Involvement for Play – Association of Residents of Cliffburn and Hayshead. Arbroath.
The need for good play areas was identified as being a key part of the regeneration of Cliffburn and Hayshead in Arbroath. Local people worked diligently with children, young people and many public agencies. The resulting play area is an inclusive facility that every one of all ages can use. Use was made of recycled materials, a sensory garden was provided and innovative use is being made of wind and solar power to operate floodlighting for the multi sports area. The Trustees commend the inclusive work of the Association that has created a great community facility for play in Arbroath.
3. Best Range of Play experiences within a Country Park – The Miners’ Play Park, Whitburn, West Lothian.
Opened in June this year, the Miners’ Play Park brings a new exciting range of indoor and outdoor play experience within a visitor attraction. The Trustees recognise that many children and families want to play together and also want to go to settings outside of their own community. When designing the park in Whitburn, West Lothian Council consulted far and wide and the result is a range of play services that caters for all ages in all weathers making use of the natural countryside. It is likely to be an inspiration for future play provision in Scotland.
4. Outstanding Contribution to Play – Play Services at Stirling Council
In the five years since the Nancy Ovens Trust was established, the pioneering approach to public play provision undertaking by Stirling Council has been well documented. Its approach has been reference in international play publications and more recently in a Play England’s guide that illustrated exemplary play provision. Their track record is known for giving high priority to community involvement , making use of the natural environment and exploiting exciting features which has made them not only a centre of excellence in Stirling but also an inspiration to many. They have also worked to have much of their play equipment designed and made locally. The applications to the Trust this year that included King’s Park and Darnley Park (winner of an international play award for children’s involvement in 2005) are but two exciting examples that lead the Trustees to make this award to Stirling Council for their outstanding contribution to Play.
5. Lifetime Award
The Trustees wish to make a Lifetime Award to Jane Hook MBE, for her years of dedication to establish the Buddies Club Play scheme in Glasgow. It is a unique inclusive play organisation for children with a range of additional and complex needs. In 1994, a group of parents in North West Glasgow got together and decided to start a Sunday club for children with disabilities. Jane was part of that group. Over the years, the Buddies have grown to provide a unique service in the West of Scotland. Every week nearly 120 children from Glasgow and surrounding areas take part in a range of nursery, afterschool and youth clubs. A holiday play scheme is also provided as well as the Sunday club that started it all. The Buddies has attracted many visitors and much attention as others attempt to replicate it in their area. However above all else what can never be replicated is Jane and her tremendous contribution to the children. Jane is recognised by the Trustees as someone who has made an everlasting change to children’s play ands as such we make this special award to her in 2009.