There’s a small thing that’s irked us for ages. It’s probably a common feeling to folks in playwork, given how we struggle to explain this work to outsiders. As an organization that positions itself as a kind of ‘welcome mat’ for adventurous play, we always wanted a tagline that felt right and reflected who we are. Finally, we’ve got a phrase we love.
Those communities may be personal or professional, in person or online, temporary or lasting the rest of our lives. We help weave play through existing communities, or building new communities around play. Wherever we work, children’s play remains our top priority, the beating heart of all we do.
There’s another phrase we wanted to share, as part of our excitement about the upcoming year. If a tagline is ‘what we do’, this is ‘how we do it’. It’s our intention, which we’re setting carefully and sharing with you now.
In 2018 and beyond, we want to be your online play association.
This means a lot to us, and likely not much to you just yet. Most of the people we work with around the world have never had a local play association. These groups exist to support other initiatives, the ones doing work on the ground. Many UK play associations are struggling or have closed, but we’re still drawing upon a long tradition of regional support for local play initiatives. Here’s what we think a good local play association ought to be:
- responsive, tailoring both approach and content
- supportive, providing access to targeted resources
- collaborative, linking people together and sharing ideas
- positive, welcoming new members to the field and encouraging those who have been here for awhile
- inclusive, working with people in schools, hospitals, parks, families and everywhere that children can be found.
That’s what we’ve always tried to do, but we wanted a phrase that made it a bit more ‘official’. We know what it’s like to struggle, to search for information that seems hard to find, to feel alone. We feel honored to be serving new and practicing playworkers. Whether it’s through resources, social media, online courses, or simply answering questions over email, we want to help you do the very best job you can, of improving the world for children’s play.