PLAY GLOUCESTERSHIRE is a registered charity that provides regular, free play sessions in urban parks and rural locations across the county. Our energetic Play Rangers deliver outdoor, active play, sports, arts and environmental activities to school-aged children throughout the year, whatever the weather.
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Summer Play Report 2014

IMG_0974The headline stats remind us how busy this summer has been – 99 play days in 27 urban and rural communities over six weeks. That equates to 594 hours of free play for more than 1,000 players making 4,044 play visits.

Behind these numbers there are stories of friendships, fallouts and fun. Community-based play can be exhilarating and exasperating in the blink of an eye, and by September, totally exhausting for our wonderful team of Play Rangers and Young Volunteers.

This is a county of contrasts, and nobody sees this more than Team PG as we deliver play in the heart of both disadvantaged and more affluent communities. For low-income families, our free outdoor play is a lifeline throughout the long summer holidays. Assured of a welcome by Team PG, hundreds of children co-create extraordinary play adventures using the play resources that we transport around the county. For more affluent families and communities, our self-directed and ‘edge of chaos’ play can at first be a challenge. Some children spend most of their out of school time in structured activities, and need encouragement to direct their own play. We give them plenty of that!

Parents and grandparents have been out in force, and our community play gatherings have turned into wonderful sociable gatherings for them, as their children and grandchildren get stuck into some proper outdoor play! We’ve also noticed families following us around the county, bringing picnics and enjoying some really good days out.

Our Play Rangers extend friendship and support to residents of all ages, and our kindness has been reciprocated this summer in bucket loads. Cakes, cups of tea and toilets are the best way to make a Play Ranger happy. Six hours of play every day for six weeks is physically demanding and these social actions really help us to keep going. One lovely neighbour even let us use their hosepipe to make a fabulous water slide on a very hot day!

We have lots of animal visitors to our play sessions, and in Mickleton a young person arrived on Merlin the Pony. Not to be outdone, Jude the Cat came to every play session in Barton, Gloucester, and in Hempstead, Gloucester, children and Play Rangers found a very hungry and thirsty hedgehog who after rest and recuperation in a little cardboard hotel with room service of slugs and water, went on its way.

 It’s not just hedgehogs that have been hungry. Low-income families have found the six-week holiday tough without free school meals. Rangers were often spotted bringing a bit extra in their lunch boxes to share, and in some communities we have provided healthy lunches to fill the hunger gap. Free fruit and water are provided by us everywhere, and are always much appreciated.

Through community-based play we meet lots of young people facing difficulties who develop strong attachments with Rangers and Young Volunteers. Throughout the summer we have been there for them, coping with some very upset and angry children, and helping them make sense of things through outdoor play. Our understanding of this vital aspect of our work has led us to pilot a new project, funded by Gloucestershire County Council’s Targeted Support Team, providing Early Help through therapeutic outdoor playwork (report coming soon).

 This summer has shown why Play Gloucestershire is ‘Playwork Team of the Year’. Throughout, the Play Rangers have been playful, energetic, engaged and totally committed to providing some great outdoor play and support for children. Our Young Volunteers have brought friendship and fun with them on a daily basis, showing kindness and compassion that is truly wonderful. Team PG, I salute you all on a great summer of play – Gloucestershire is a better place to live and play in with you lot around!

 Pip Levett

Director of Play

LOTS of photos below: click on a photo to start the photo viewer and click again when you have finished.

Summer Holidays are over…

…Summer play report coming soon (when we’ve recovered!)

End of summer Hol pic

Summer Timetable 2014

Here it is!  These are the sessions we will be running during the Summer Holidays.  All sessions are FREE but please note they are also open access which means children are free to come and go as they please.  We do ask that under 8′s are accompanied by a parent or carer.

All play sessions are 10am – 4pm unless shown otherwise.  If you are new to Play Gloucestershire’s Play Rangers, please take a look at our Information for Parents/Carers.

SUMMER 2014 Week ONE      

Mon 21July The Playing Field, Bredon, Worcestershire

Thistle Patch, Chesterton, Cirencester

Pound Farm, Brockworth

Tue 22July Parry Field, Tredworth, Gloucester

Yorkley Recreation Ground, Yorkley, Forest of Dean

Mason Road Playing Field, Stroud

Wed 23July Ayland Gardens, Glouceste

rMelville Play Space, Bourton on the Water **10am – 12.30pm**

Saul Playing Fields, Saul

Thu 24Jul Bale Memorial Playing Field, Mile End, Nr Broadwell **10am – 12.30pm**

Mitcheldean Recreation Ground, Mitcheldean, Forest of Dean **1.30pm – 4pm**

Monk Meadow, Hempstead, Gloucester

Archway Gardens, Paganhill, Stroud

Fri 25July Finlay Way Park, Bishops Cleeve

Evans Walk, Matson, Gloucester

 

SUMMER 2014 Week TWO NATIONAL PARKS WEEK

Mon 28July The Playing Field, Bredon, Worcestershire

Thistle Patch, Chesterton, Cirencester

Lawnside Play Area, Nailsworth

Tue 29July Parry Field, Tredworth, Gloucester

Yorkley Recreation Ground, Yorkley, Forest of Dean

Mason Road Playing Field, Stroud

Wed 30July Ayland Gardens, Gloucester

Melville Play Space, Bourton on the Water **10am – 12.30pm**

Thu 31July Bale Memorial Playing Field, Mile End, Nr Broadwell **10am – 12.30pm**

Mitcheldean Recreation Ground, Mitcheldean, Forest of Dean **1.30pm – 4pm**

Monk Meadow, Hempstead, Gloucester

Archway Gardens, Paganhill, Stroud

Fri 1 Aug Finlay Way Park, Bishops CleeveEvans Walk, Matson, Gloucester By Lakefield School, Frampton-on-Severn

 

SUMMER 2014 Week THREE

Mon 4August The Playing Field, Bredon, Worcestershire

Thistle Patch, Chesterton, Cirencester

The Abbey Field, Winchcombe

Lawnside Play Area, Nailsworth

Tue 5August Parry Field, Tredworth, Gloucester

Yorkley Recreation Ground, Yorkley, Forest of Dean

Mason Road Playing Field, Stroud

Junior Playing Field, Mickleton

Wed 6AugustNATIONAL PLAY DAY Ayland Gardens, Gloucester

Melville Play Space, Bourton on the Water **10am – 12.30pm**

Thu 7August Bale Memorial Playing Field, Mile End, Nr Broadwell **10am – 12.30pm**

Mitcheldean Recreation Ground, Mitcheldean, Forest of Dean **1.30pm – 4pm**

Monk Meadow, Hempstead, Gloucester

Archway Gardens, Paganhill, Stroud

Fri 8August Finlay Way Park, Bishops Cleeve

Evans Walk, Matson, Gloucester

By Lakefield School, Frampton-on-Severn

 

SUMMER 2014 Week FOUR

Mon 11August The Playing Field, Bredon, Worcestershire

Thistle Patch, Chesterton, Cirencester

Lawnside Play Area, Nailsworth

Tue 12August Parry Field, Tredworth, Gloucester

Yorkley Recreation Ground, Yorkley, Forest of Dean

Mason Road Playing Field, Stroud

Junior Playing Field, Mickleton

Wed 13August Ayland Gardens, Gloucester

Melville Play Space, Bourton on the Water **10am – 12.30pm**

Thu 14August Gould Playing Field, Northway

Monk Meadow, Hempstead, Gloucester

Archway Gardens, Paganhill, Stroud

Fri 15August Finlay Way Park, Bishops Cleeve

Evans Walk, Matson, Gloucester

By Lakefield School, Frampton-on-Severn

 

 

SUMMER 2014 Week FIVE

Mon 18 Aug The Playing Field, Bredon, Worcestershire

Thistle Patch, Chesterton, Cirencester

Lawnside Play Area, Nailsworth

Tue 19August Parry Field, Tredworth, Gloucester

Yorkley Recreation Ground, Yorkley, Forest of Dean

Mason Road Playing Field, Stroud

Junior Playing Field, Mickleton

Wed 20August Ayland Gardens, Gloucester

Melville Play Space, Bourton on the Water **10am – 12.30pm**

Thu 21August The Vineyards, Tewkesbury

Meadowleaze, Longlevens, Gloucester

Archway Gardens, Paganhill, Stroud

Fri 22August Finlay Way Park, Bishops Cleeve

Evans Walk, Matson, Gloucester

By Lakefield School, Frampton-on-Severn

 

SUMMER 2014 Week SIX

Mon 25 Aug

Bank Holiday – No Play

Tue 26August Parry Field, Tredworth, Gloucester

The Playing Field, Bredon, Worcestershire

Mason Road Playing Field, Stroud

Wed 27August Ayland Gardens, Gloucester

Melville Play Space, Bourton on the Water **10am – 12.30pm**

Saul Playing Fields, Saul

Thu 28August Longford Lane, Longlevens, Gloucester

Tudor Mead Playing Field, Churchdown

Archway Gardens, Paganhill, Stroud

Fri 29 Aug Finlay Way Park, Bishops Cleeve

Evans Walk, Matson, Gloucester

 

High Sheriff Funds Young Volunteer Training Weekend

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Play Gloucestershire’s Young Volunteers gathered recently for  a training camp in the village of Saul, near Stroud. They took part in a memorable and playful weekend of development, friendship and fun. The 22 young people were joined by 16 Play Rangers and together undertook training in diverse topics including den building, creative play, rucksack games, fit for play, the future of Play Gloucestershire, playwork theory and future volunteering plans.

The training programme was led by our inspiring Play Ranger Team Leaders, Ben and Katie, and it was exciting for everyone to be gathered together at the same venue. This is a real treat for us, with Rangers and young people from all county districts meeting and mixing. It gives them an insight into the scale of our work in both urban and rural communities and is a great way to share skills and new ideas. One Young Volunteer, Toni, said “I never knew there were this many Play Rangers!”

The Canvas Cottage Company helped us ‘glamp’ it up with hire of their lovely bell tents complete with rugs, airbeds and solar lights, and Team PG completed the festival vibe with celebration fire pit and our own ukulele-playing Ranger Lana. Munching through lots of healthy campfire cooked food was a great way of developing cooking skills and trying new foods. Karl showed several Rangers an empty cup smiling and saying “I don’t even like peas and I’m having seconds of pea soup!’

Our Young Volunteers were a mixture of experienced teenagers who have clocked up hundreds of volunteer hours, and some younger ones just starting out. Several young people had never been away from home before and were really nervous about it. One of them said “Bagel says if I get scared at night I can nudge him, he will nudge Josh and they’ll both sit up with me to make sure I am okay. I often have nightmares and worry too much about my Mum and stuff”.

One of the playwork theories discussed was working on the ‘edge of chaos’, and we created a new song about it that you can see on video!

Overall the weekend was a heart-warming success and we all went away feeling proud to be part of Team PG and looking forward to a busy year of play. We would like to thank the High Sheriff’s Fund and Hugh Tollemache in particular for enabling us to give so many people an inspirational experience and a massive thanks for all that these young people give to Gloucestershire people and communities.

 Check out the photos below and video (coming soon).

by Pip Levett, Director of Play

Young Volunteers Training Weekend – full report coming soon

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