Scotland’s Play Awards 2017 – Winners and Commendations

Mark McDonald MSP (Minister for Childcare and Early Years) and Fraser Falconer (Nancy Ovens Trust) with 2017 winning and commended services. (Photo courtesy of Play Scotland)

Play in the Community

Winner – Oban Community Playpark

The community park is in three zones for all ages and it is marine themed and interactive with inclusive play is at its core. Children were consulted from the early stages of the park’s design. £330k was raised by the community for the play park and over 1000 children were involved from 13 primary schools and from a wide range of youth and community groups. The delivery of this park is excellent testimony to how much the people of Oban value play for all.

Commendation – Time 2 Play, Perth

The Trustees want to commend their work in play across the local authority area. Using a rights- based approach to play, they encourage not only play but also encourage children to be the creators and managers of play spaces and equipment.

Commendation – 3D, Drumchapel, Glasgow

The Trustees want to commend the SPACE kids work that encourages disabled children and their families to engage and experience sensory play. This is one of the many play services that the organisation delivers across Drumchapel.

Play in Nursery and School (2 awards)

Winner – Abercrombie Nursery Class, Tullibody, Clackmannanshire (Play in Urban Scotland)

Children are at the centre of all play and learning experiences and the have created a rich and exciting outdoor environment within a local authority nursery school. Using natural and recycled materials, they also use a fire pit for cooking foods. Building dens and independently climbing trees are everyday occurrences and one day a week there is time for families in Tullibody to engage with this exciting approach to learning.

Winner – The Secret Garden Outdoor Nursery, Letham, Fife (Play in Rural Scotland)

This is the second Nancy Ovens Award to this unique project located within The Letham Woods in rural Fife. The 25 acres of space – in all weathers, across 49 weeks of the year – offers children opportunities for developing learning through nurturing and compassion. The skillful staff have an important but not intrusive role in helping the children become leaders, climbers, singers, animals… in fact, anything can happen in the woods!

Commendation – Riverside Cottage Nursery, Blackburn, West Lothian

The Trustees want to commend the Nursery for its exciting outdoor example of what a privately- run nursery can provide for children in Scotland. They encourage risk and adventure through their outdoor spaces where they can trek down the trees and bushes to play in the river!

Commendation – Nesting Grounds, Shetland

The Trustees want to commend this outdoor play area in Shetland. It is based in the school grounds, developed by local children and is open all year round. Amongst its features are a Viking garden complete with galley and picnic area, a bothy for indoor play and storytelling and a peace and commemorative garden.

Play at Home (2 awards)

Winner – Pauline McInally, Wishaw, Childminder

Children have endless play opportunities from gloop, play dough and crafts to cuddling up with a story they wrote… making models from junk and singing and dancing with instruments they made. They visit parks, soft plays, swimming, the beach and the zoo. They climb, jump and explore, grow flowers, vegetables and fruit. Within the local community there are opportunities beyond the garden for nature walks and being out of doors. Then after they do all this they’ve learned that bodies need a rest… so they can have lots of fun again!

Winner – Laraine Lambie, Livingston, Community Childminder

All children are involved in planning activities and buying new resources. They often change at the drop of a hat to include spontaneous play. It is always child-led – no matter what the weather they are outside doing something. Part of the garden has been adapted for the sole use of the children. There is a mud kitchen, working sink at child height, a sunken trampoline, water tubes and utensils, sandpit, bikes, scooter, sit on and ride toys, tree-house with slide! They use the local woods to go on scavenger hunts and have built a den.

Commendation – Christine Mathieson, Welly Walkers, Portsoy, Aberdeenshire

The Trustees want to commend the work at Welly Walkers. It provides every day, within a home, indoor and outdoor settings for imaginative play. It is a very good example of how a family home can adapt itself to play with a large mud kitchen, vegetable patch and time for baking in the kitchen.

Positive Support for Play

Commendation – Play Midlothian

The Trustees would like to commend Play Midlothian, who provide a range of play services across Midlothian. These include Out2Play, and holiday play schemes. Additionally, their training and play conference has improved the standards of play in the area. In December of 2016, Midlothian Council launched their Play Strategy and this was in part due to the work and influence of Play Midlothian. In recognition of these developments they have been awarded a Commendation for their work.

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