Each year OPA organises a series of Play and Activity days at multiple venues across Oxfordshire in line with the ethos of National Playday, the celebration of the Child’s Right to Play (www.playday.org.uk).
In the 10 years from 2012 to 2022 inclusive we have delivered almost 130 events across Oxfordshire which have been attended by over 145,000 ‘guests’ (our 2020 events were postponed due to Coronavirus lockdowns / restrictions).
The key selling point of our project is that all of our events offer both FREE entrance and FREE activities to ensure inclusion for ALL.
These events were already becoming increasingly important with the savage cuts previously imposed on Children and Families services in Oxfordshire (including the closure of local Children’s Centres and Youth Services) during austerity in terms of providing activities and information on services available to local families. These needs were further exacerbated by the issues caused by Covid-19.
In addition to all this children, young people and their families now face an unprecedented cost of living crisis. It is of no surprise to anyone, then, that we are now seeing unprecedented increases in children’s mental health problems and loneliness, alongside reduced physical activity.
Our Playday project has the following key aims and objectives:
For Children & Young People
1) Promote positive behaviours & activities (reduce anti-social behaviour)
2) Promote increased levels of physical activity
3) Promote a healthy lifestyle (healthy choices)
4) Promote healthy weight management (obesity reduction)
5) Provide information on services and activities to promote a sense of wellbeing and inclusion
For Parents / Carers
1) Provide an event offering both FREE Entrance & FREE Activities to ensure inclusion for ALL
2) Demonstrate how play can be achieved on a zero / minimal budget using natural & recycled materials
3) Provide information on services and activities available in the local and wider area
1) Encourage a greater sense of belonging to promote active & engaged communities (Love where you Live)
2) Promote local clubs, groups and societies
3) Involve local groups, communities and children & young people in the planning and delivery of each event.