The new play charity, Pop-Up Adventure Play (UK) has been awarded a £10,000 grant from the Big Lottery Fund’s Awards-for-All programme. The money will enable the charity to explore the potential for a national scheme. It will help local groups establish “Pop-Up Play Shops” or PUPS, in disused high street premises.

As well as a feasibility study of the Pop-Up Shop’s potential for national development, the grant will also fund a tool-kit of resources for local groups who want to set up new play provision in their local area and lack suitable premises.

Morgan Leichter-Saxby, one of the charity’s directors said of the award, expresses her satisfaction with the announcement.

“Play provision for struggling families has never been more important, but play services are under massive pressure with many projects facing closure because of austerity measures. Accordingly, we sought to start something that wouldn’t cost much money and which local groups could easily adopt for themselves.”

The charity’s co-director, Suzanna Law, says she is particularly ecstatic with the news. “We are happy to receive our first grant. It feels like a real vote of confidence in our ideas and our work up to this point.”

Additionally, former director of Play England, Adrian Voce OBE, will research the project’s potential and produce the study. Voce says:

“This project flies in the face of some current orthodoxies, which is partly why I like it. These new projects won’t be in nature but on the high street. There is currently a big emphasis on the importance of outdoor, “natural” play. This is great, but we want to remind people that the most important thing about play space is that it is where children can get to it”.

The project will begin immediately, aiming to publish the study and launch the toolkit in summer 2014.

Notes for Editors

The concept of the Pop-Up Playshop was successfully piloted by Morgan Leichter-Saxby and Suzanna Law. Both are playworkers and researchers who are now the new charity’s directors, in one of Cardiff’s main shopping areas in 2011.

With no funding, Morgan and Suzanna themselves evaluated the pilot project, along with another Pop-Up play event they had organised. This became the basis for the bid to Awards-for-All.

Pop-Up Adventure Play (UK) was awarded charity status by the Charity Commission early in 2013.

Morgan Leichter Saxby MA, one of Pop-Up Adventure Play (UK)’s co-founders, is a writer, researcher and playworker. She has worked with the Museum of Modern Art (NYC), Play England, City of Largo Florida, and the Alliance for Childhood. Morgan directly supports the development of play-based community events and programming in more than 8 different countries. They include Colombia, Mexico, Costa Rica and Egypt. Morgan blogs at Play Everything.

Suzanna Law BA, Pop-Up Adventure Play (UK)’s other co-founder, graduated with a first-class honours degree in Playwork in July 2012, having already been a playworker for seven years. She is currently reading a PhD in Playwork with a focus on the Playwork Principles in the US. Suzanna manages the charity’s blog Pop-Up Adventure Play blog.

Adrian Voce has worked in children’s play since 1979 and was the first director of Play England, from 2006-11. He is a former director and chair of the National Children’s Play Council (2004-6) and was the first director of London Play (1998-2004). He is now a freelance consultant on play policy and play service development, and manages the specialist blog-site Policy for Play. In 2011, Voce was awarded the OBE for services to children.

For more information please contact Suzanna Law. Pop-Up Adventure Play (UK) Registered Charity Number 1148987

Charity wins lottery, supports high streets with pop-up play shops