Support from William A Cadbury Trust
We were so happy to be awarded a grant from William Cadbury Trust to pilot our Play For All Project. Designed to assess our current provision for neurodiverse children by working with a beneficiary who has experience of attending our play sessions, the project ran from May to July 2023 and we were delighted that Abi could use her expertise to complete it.
The main aims of the project were to work with a play friend who has lived experience of caring for children with disabilities, to assess our current play sessions and produce recommendations to improve access and inclusion in these to help work towards play for all in the city.
Initial research and surveys
To gauge the view of parents and carers of autistic children, an initial questionnaire was formulated including asking:
The questionnaire was completed by 8 people who are members of an Autism Support Group. Each respondent is a parent of a child who has been diagnosed with ASD. Their responses to these questions had slight variations yet a lot of similarities.
Play setting importance -
Equipped with these responses, the play session settings were reviewed to see how accessible they currently are.
Gatis Community Space
After visiting the different play sessions, the recommendation of the most appropriate outdoor play site to host inclusive sessions would be Gatis Community Space.
The play setting at Gatis is a very calm and secure environment, Although it is situated in a residential area, there is very little noise from the surrounding streets. Of course, the security of the site is paramount and the gates are manned by staff within the play setting. There are areas within the play site for mud play, water play, gardening, craft play and the outdoor slide. The children are provided with a bucket/basket filled with a variety of items that will assist them in their exploratory play. These items can include magnifying glasses, gardening tools, paper, small plant pots etc. The items can be used interchangeably with the activities available.
Other recommendations for Play for All
Project next steps
We are super keen to continue with the next phase of the project - implementing the recommendations from the Play for All report and developing a tailored programme of play sessions that children with autism and their families can enjoy. We are currently looking to secure funding for Phase 2 of this project - let us know if you'd like to be involved and drop us an email here!
With grateful thanks to William A. Cadbury Trust for supporting this work and Abi for her project work.