We are Oxfordshire
Play Association

and play matters

Oxfordshire Play Association (OPA) was established as a charity in 1974 to increase play across Oxfordshire, and to increase awareness of the profound impact that play has on a child’s learning, development and wellbeing. Since then, OPA has been one of the lead organisations promoting high quality play opportunities across the county for all children and young people aged 0-19 years.

OPA’s mission is to champion and to support the rights of all children and young people to have access to high quality inclusive play opportunities.

Purpose and Values

In support of OPA’s mission, emphasis is placed on:

  • Promoting the importance of play in the lives of children and young people
  • Promoting an understanding of play and playwork values
  • Identifying the needs of children and young people in play environments and working positively towards fulfilling these needs
  • Acting as a voice for play leaders and playworkers
  • Promoting and supporting the need for a qualified playwork workforce
  • Providing a range of services to support the creation of high-quality, inclusive playwork settings
  • Support policy makers in making decisions that impact positively on play
  • Provide representation on partnerships and agencies that influence play.

Play - a child's right

OPA are passionate about every child’s right to play.

A child’s right to participate in play and informal recreation is enshrined in Article 31 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and was ratified by the UK in 1991. Under the convention our government has a duty to protect and promote play opportunities for all children and young people. 

One of OPA's hugely popular free community Playday events

What we do

From organising free community playdays to play equipment hire, from fundraising to training play practitioners, from running youth clubs to creating play strategy and policy for Oxfordshire, OPA does it all! Go to the ‘What We Do’ section for more information about our work.

What we're up to

Just a few of our recent news and events

Play Matters – Science Together Project

We are delighted to share our latest research document – Play Matters – produced in partnership with our friends from the University of Oxford and ...
Read More →

OPA – RAF Benson – Family Support Worker

The Oxfordshire Play Association (OPA), working in partnership with RAF Benson has secured 2 year funding from the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust to employ ...
Read More →

South Abingdon Community Activity Days – Easter 2024

We are working with our local partners to deliver a series of FREE, Community Activity Days across South Abingdon during the Easter Holidays These events ...
Read More →

Play / Youth Worker required for Faringdon & Wheatley Junior Youth Clubs

We are recruiting for a Play / Youth Worker for our Faringdon & Wheatley Junior Youth Clubs (roles can be split) Please get in touch ...
Read More →

Wychwood Golf Club – Charity Golf Day – Sunday 14th April

Our lovely friends at The Wychwood Golf Club are hosting a fundraising day for us through a Charity Golf event on Sunday 14th April 2024. ...
Read More →

OPA Play & Activity Days 2024

We are delighted to confirm the dates and locations for our 2024 Playday events All of these events will offer both FREE Entrance & FREE ...
Read More →

What They Say

“What an achievement! Thank you for funding these days so everyone has access to FREE play opportunities!”

Little Oxplorers

“Thank you OPA for your enthusiasm and drive.”


“Fantastic day, today. My mindees loved all of it! Go karting, zorbing, Wall climb, rocket making, face painting, bubbles!! My guys are aged 3 up to 8 and this was perfect. Thank you so much for laying this on.”

Kim 'Hughes' Joslyn