Dear Playwork friends,

We’re so pleased to have been nominated and shortlisted as one of the potential recipients of the Altogether Different Award this year! Thank you so much!

As one of the 5 awards at the Annual Playwork Awards, we’re particularly excited about this particular award. You’ll all know that Pop-Up Adventure Play has been working hard to ensure that everyone everywhere, no matter their location, beliefs, choices, heritage, culture, political situation… can have access to playwork training and support. This has been a tricky journey with a whole host of biases and privileges that we’ve had to navigate, but we’re working on it! Being shortlisted for the Altogether Different Award means that we’re on the right track!

We’ve managed to host in-person and virtual Campferences that have reached as many people as we can. Our most recent event was attended by people from 12 countries who between them spoke 16 languages. We were able to invite keynotes to share in their preferred languages and made sure this was simultaneously translated into 4 other languages from English! We’re working really hard to provide opportunities for everyone everywhere to learn about playwork even if it means that momentarily, we won’t understand fully what’s happening because of our personal limitations.

“…still a lot to learn…”

There’s still a lot to learn about other people’s realities which we will never fully understand but will always be mindful of. The important thing here is that playwork embraces difference. We are a field of unusual professionals who view play as important. This is something that pushes against the normal thinking in society and can make advocacy really hard. In promoting playwork as a field of practice, we are gathering together individuals out there who are brave enough to stand up to the dominant way of thinking. People who dare to be public about their belief in play.

Our international playwork efforts also means that Eunbi from South Korea does not feel so isolated as the only playworker in the country. And Carolina from Costa Rica is inspired to continue running play sessions that have spanned a decade. It means that Sam from Iceland can be present today to represent us – and then keep the award as their own. We won’t stop until every playworker out there knows that they are doing a wonderful job.

Playwork friends, any recognition of our work is important to us. As two people working with 30+ countries and 500+ communities, it has been a priority of ours to meet needs as we learn about them. Sometimes those needs are simply recognising that what they are doing is hard but that they are doing a great job in the process. We don’t ever plan to stop until the field of playwork is recognised everywhere! Whether we receive an award or not, we at Pop-Up Adventure Play will keep on making sure that — no matter the difference — we are altogether in playwork.

Thank you to everyone again for their support and awesomeness!

Morgan and Suzanna

24th February 2023