Awards for Play 2012

The 2012 Nancy Ovens Awards was kindly hosted by North Lanarkshire Council on Saturday the 15th of September. The venue this year was Drumpellier Country Park in Coatbridge. The trust were pleased to be joined by Councillor James Robertson, Provost of North Lanarkshire Council and Elaine Smith MSP for Coatbridge and Chryston. We were also joined by Tam Baillie, Scotland’s Commissioner for Children and Young People who presented the awards. When presenting the awards Tam spoke of the excitement he experienced with play when he was a child.

 Bast Play Space 2012 – Arthurlie Family Centre, Barrhead

The Arthurlie Family Centre has adopted a woodland area near the centre in which they have developed, with the children, a fun and challenging play space where children can develop skills in independence and co-operation. Parents have been encouraged to take ownership of the work and become involved in the Woodland Wonders and this has led to children taking them there on weekend and evening visits. Children have flourished in the freedom of the woods. Rules and boundaries have been kept to the minimum and this has led to the children building a shelter and a meeting point from a fallen tree and branches. Their creativity has also led to the presence of imaginary characters in the woods. The Family Centre is connected to others across Scotland involved in developing outdoor ideas for imaginative play. They are a great example of what play can achieve within a disadvantaged urban area of Scotland.

Best Play Experience 2012 – Family and Community Development West Lothian

Family and Community Development West Lothian run three play projects – The Range Playground, Out of School Care and the Early Years Playroom. The last three years has seen them moving further away from traditional activity based sessions and offer play environments which promote freely chosen and self-directed play. They encourage staff and children to use play as an essential part of becoming involved and more active in their community…and to keep having fun. As part of this, they developed Wet Wednesdays and Manky Mondays where children, supported by their parents are encouraged to get wet and dirty to their heart’s content. This all takes place at the Range where they still use the zip lines, slack lines, ropes, cargo nets and fire to create exciting opportunities. In addition to the hundreds of children who attend, last year 40 families as a whole became involved. This is a great place for children and young people to grow, meet new challenges and have great fun.

Commendation – Olivebank Child and Family Centre 

The Nancy Ovens Trust commends the word undertaken at the Olivebank Child and Family Centre in transforming, with great community support, an empty space into an area of challenge and discovery.


Commendation – Dornoch Allsorts After School Club

The Nancy Ovens Trust commends both the community partnership and the creation for play opportunities for children to have great fun in the outdoors. 


Or do you know an organisation or someone who deserves an award?

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