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

WestHive Crowdfunding – West Oxfordshire Playdays 2024

We are Crowdfunding via WestHive to support our 2024 Playdays in West Oxfordshire in Witney, Carterton / RAF Brize Norton, Eynsham and Chipping Norton – Please
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Banbury Grimsbury Mini Playday

We will be in Banbury for some half term Fun and Play at the Banbury Grimsbury Mini Playday at Banbury Community Garden on Wednesday 25th
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Faringdon Junior Youth Club

Our Faringdon Junior Youth Club has now restarted following the Summer break, come along and say Hello!
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OPA Nominated for Community Award

Oxfordshire Play Association is delighted to announce that we have been shortlisted as finalists for Northamptonshire Community Foundation’s Annual Awards 2023. We have been shortlisted
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Wheatley Junior Youth Club

We are in the process of launching a Junior Youth Club for Wheatley and are looking for passionate staff to work with the Young People
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Neighbour-Ley Project

    We are delighted to be working with our partners Oxford Hub / Parent Power and Peabody New Homes to deliver our new, FREE,
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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