Inspiring Scotland.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Julia Abel, Go2Play Performance Advisor writes about a really important week for one of our funds – Go2Play.

Five years of investing in play was celebrated last week by returning to the venue (The Scottish Youth Theatre) where Inspiring Scotland launched its play fund in partnership with the Scottish Government.

This significant milestone was marked with a launch of a Play Ranger Toolkit by Fiona McLeod, Acting Minster for Children and Young People, a gathering of play ventures invested in, and perhaps most significantly, by presenting play as a key change theme at the Scottish Early Years Collaborative.

Play Ranger Toolkit

The Play Ranger Toolkit will be a significant tool for the sector to help develop this effective model for supporting more children to benefit from free play in their communities.  The Minister said: “I welcome this Play Ranger Guide and commend the charities who have collaborated to bring it together for the benefit of the rest of Scotland.”

 The power of the Portfolio

The gathering of the ventures being supported by each Inspiring Scotland fund is such an important aspect to the Inspiring Scotland approach. We call it the power of the portfolio, and the Go2Play portfolio is certainly a formidable force. The contribution made by each and every venture was marked by an awards ceremony presented by the Chair of the Play Strategy Group, Fraser Falconer.

Group Shot

The Early Years Gathering
This may not mean much to those not involved in this ground breaking movement – but The Early Years Collaborativeis an outcomes focused multi agency quality improvement programme which will deliver nationally on the vision and priorities of the Early Years Taskforce and bring focus and clarity to agreed outcomes.

Its ambition is shared by many, including that of the Play Strategy Group – to make Scotland the best place to grow up. Go2Play shares that ambition and were therefore delighted when they were asked by Scottish Government to present a breakout session to around 150 delegates on play to become one of the collaborative proposed new key change themes.

We consulted in advance with colleagues on the Play Strategy Group, and thanks to their support, we presented a powerful pitch on why play is so important to the early years, the evidence we have in Scotland that supports this and how we can deliver tests of change.

The feedback from the floor appeared to be unanimous, with the vast majority of delegates supporting Play and it was also very apparent that there are already some innovative play practise taking place that are delivering outcomes for children.

We look forward to sharing more on our learning from play over the next few months and working with colleagues on the Play Strategy Group to ensure play is embedded into local and national governmental frameworks.