PLAY SUNDERLAND by 1t0Zu8

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									      Moving Forward




     Sunderland’s Updated
Play and Urban Games Strategy
          2007-2012




Play and Urban Games Strategy June 2007
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All children and young people have a right to play. In Sunderland, we recognise that play
is an important part of a child’s life and we are committed to ensuring high quality
provision. Firstly, whether it is fun or serious, polite or mischievous, children and young
people love to play. Secondly, it helps young people to prepare for the future; experiment
with their world, learn to value themselves and respect others.

Moving Forward is our Play and Urban Games Strategy for Sunderland, and builds upon
the success and excellent work of all partners to deliver strategies since 1991. There is,
however, more work to be done and the review has taken the opportunity to reflect on
progress and barriers to date and ensure that the newly produced Play England advice is
embedded.

Moving Forward will be the foundation document and common reference point for all
organisations, agencies and groups that have or should have an interest in children and
young people’s play within Sunderland.

It is the document which will guide the work of the newly formed “Play Partnership”.
Members of this developing partnership, drawn from the private, public and voluntary
sector, have combined energies, evidence and expertise to produce ‘Moving Forward’.
Critically, the document has been influenced by a range of children and young people, the
thoughts of whom have been captured on the attached inspiring DVD, In simple terms
children and young people overwhelmingly said that play was fun, they liked to play and
relax with friends, but there were often barriers to their play. They wanted more
adventurous play opportunities near their homes and want to be involved in the decisions
which affect their service provision.

It is important the strategy takes steps to respond to these wishes.

We wish to acknowledge all those that have contributed to the strategy. Further, we look
forward to the progress in the full spectrum of play environments and provision, which
respond to the wishes of our children and young people, capture their imagination and
contribute to a healthy and vibrant community.


Agreed signatories to be inserted.




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Contents
List of Tables and Figures

1. Introduction

2. Purpose

3. Definition and Scope

4. Play Principles

5. National, Regional and Local Context
      5a. National and Regional
      5b. Local Context

6. The Case for Play

7. Review and Audit of Progress and Current Provision
      a. Creation of the Play Partnership
      b. Consulting and involving young people
      c. Places for play
      d. Facilitated play
      e. Sunderland’s Play infrastructure
      f. Training, development and building confidence
      g. Disability support services
      h. Investment for play
      i. Performance management and review

8. Summary SWOT Analysis

9. The Way Forward

10. Play in Sunderland in 2012

11. Action Plan

Bibliography
Consultees
Appendices




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List of Figures and Appendices

Figures
Figure One      – The features of high quality play

Figure Two      – Strategic context of play in Sunderland

Figure Three – Influencing factors on key priorities

Figure Four     – Distribution of projects achieved since 2004

Figure Five     – Comparison of ‘planning for play’ standards

Figure Six      – Applied standards for development of play in Sunderland

Figure Seven – SWOT analysis

Figure Eight    – The distribution of Sunderland’s play in 2012


Appendices

Appendix One           – Current regeneration developments citywide

Appendix Two           – Membership of Sunderland’s developing play partnership

Appendix Three         – GIS Maps illustrating the distribution and quality of places for play

Appendix Four          – Detailed action plans to create, improve and develop free and
                       inclusive spaces for play

Appendix Five          – List of consultees for strategy




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1. Introduction
Strong vibrant communities have at their heart a variety of appropriate places to play,
where children and young people can feel confident and safe. Regular enjoyment of time,
space and opportunity to play is an essential part of the lives of children and young
people. Through play children develop physically, intellectually, emotionally, spiritually and
socially. Children and young people playing, signifies a healthy community and a public
realm that is meeting the needs of its people.

However, modern living has thrown up a range of barriers to children playing. More traffic,
less open space, real and perceived dangers from crime, changes in family life and new
patterns of work have all conspired to deny more and more children the opportunities that
previous generations took for granted. The world also appears to have become a less
tolerant place for young people, who naturally seek more freedom. Adult views, based on
the behaviour of a small minority of our children and young people, are often reflected on
everyone of the age range.

The consequences of such shortfalls are profound. Anti-social behaviour and mental
health problems have each been, at least partly, attributed to young lifestyles that are
more sedentary and restricted than at any time in our recent history. For some of our
most hard to reach young people, including those with disabilities, the circumstances have
deteriorated yet further.

National evidence suggests that some of the shortfall in play stems from a lack of
ownership by local authorities to drive forward the development of play. In Sunderland,
although still facing significant challenges, this has not been the story. The willingness
and commitment to plan and improve the quality of play in Sunderland has long been
established.

In 1991 a plan for play provision was produced, which in common with national and social
trends focused upon traditional fixed play provision. Since then, there has been greater
progress. In 2004, a young people’s Play and Urban Games Strategy was developed to
meet modern challenges, which has led to steady improvement in consultation, planning,
funding and provision of new and enhanced ‘play spaces’. This strategy was developed
following a year-long review undertaken by the Council’s Culture & Leisure Review
Committee as part of their Scrutiny programme. It involved an inclusive consultation
process with residents of all ages, elected members, play providers and community
representatives. It symbolised an even greater emphasis upon the involvement of young
people themselves, in the location, design, development and operation of the provisions.

In parallel to this, there has also been significant progress in the provision of ‘play
services’ particularly through the work of the Children’s Fund and the Early Years
Partnership. In 1994 Sunderland City Council established a project known as ‘Time for
Kids’ which in essence was a one stop shop for play, training and development of various
provisions in the city. Many youth providers also recognise and increasingly offer a range
of play or ‘chilling out’ opportunities and services. Indeed, in recent years there has also
been greater acknowledgement that high quality play provision is accessible to all children
and young people up to 19 years, and sometimes beyond to our young adults who have
extra support needs.

However, despite these efforts, there is more work to be done to meet the challenges
ahead. The city profile paints a challenging picture of increasing levels of childhood
obesity and family deprivation. Inactivity contributes to some of the worst health
inequalities in the North East, and this is combined with a challenging agenda around fear
of neighbourhood crime and anti-social behaviour.

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2. The Purpose of the Document

      Improve children and young people’s access to safe and challenging play
       opportunities;

The document will be a foundation document and common reference point for all
organisations, agencies and groups that have or should have an impact on children and
young people’s play within Sunderland. It will guide the work of the newly formed Play
Partnership and confirm the governance arrangements around play delivery across the
city. It will act as a tool to empower the key partners in the delivery of effective, essential
play.

The Community and Cultural Services Directorate within the City Council will act as guide
and coordinator and will support the capacity building of the Play Partnership to ensure it
harnesses its collective talents and strength.




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3. Definition and Scope of Play
Definition
Although we all recognise play when we see it, it is notoriously difficult to define. From an
early age play is important to a child’s development and learning; it is not just physical
activity. Play can involve cognitive, imaginative, creative, emotional and social aspects. It
is the main way children express their impulse to explore, experiment and understand.

The simplest of definitions is probably the following by the Department of Culture, Media
and Sport (DCMS):

       What children and young people do when they follow their own ideas
       and interests in their own way and for their own reasons.
       Getting Serious About Play (2002)

The Scope of Play
Given the above definition, play arises from children and young people’s innate need to
express themselves, to explore, learn about and make sense of their world. Play is
different from structured cultural activities like sport, art, music and dance. It is what
children and young people do when they are allowed free time and a place to use in their
own way, for their own reasons and for no external reward or goal. Play will take place
wherever children and young people want and particularly when the interests of others,
especially those of the adult world, recede into the background.

This scope of play challenges some of the more ‘formal’ provision often called ‘play’, such
as break times at school, after school clubs, youth clubs and other organised groups.
Many of these rarely provide the complete freedom to explore and choose activities in
their own way and for their own reasons. However, some components of the provision
clearly offer valuable ‘time to play’ and ‘time to chill out’. Arguably play provision may be
viewed as a continuum of play opportunities.

At one end of the spectrum are those which are offered within a formal setting and can
clearly add value. However, this strategy is focused upon those opportunities at the other
end of the spectrum, which offers children and young people as much choice, control and
freedom as possible within reasonable boundaries. These may include playing ‘hide and
seek’ in the street, arts and crafts in the home, chilling out at the ‘drop in’ youth club or
climbing trees in a local park.

This supports the work by Else (2005) who suggests play should primarily adhere to the
3 Frees Test:

       That is: ‘Where the provision is free of charge, where young people are free
       to come and go and free to choose what they do whilst there’.

‘Primarily adhere’ acknowledges that exceptions will exist such as the need for some
disabled children and young people to have support, or for supervised services to charge
an affordable or low cost fee that can potentially be funded from external sources.




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Within the scope of play, this strategy will also recognise the importance of ‘high quality’
play and specifically the degree to which children are provided with opportunities to
experience directly the features in figure one below.

Figure One – The features of high quality play


      Exploring the physical environment - earth, air, fire and water, secret spaces and
       open spaces;

      Challenge and taking risks – running, jumping, climbing, rolling, balancing;

      Emotions – the chance to validate a range of feelings;

      Stimulate all the senses – hearing, taste, smell, touch, sight;

      Being creative and imaginative      – drama, dressing up, role-play, masks, face
       painting, arts and crafts;

      Opportunities for social interaction – enjoy cultural differences, co-operating,
       resolving conflict, chatting, negotiating, sharing;

      Building, demolishing and transforming environments.

Adapted from: Play England Guidance (2006)




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4. Principles of Play
It is clear from the introduction, definition and scope that play is an exciting but diverse
area. On this basis, whilst individual priorities for play and urban games may change with
time through ongoing consultation and research, the following principles have been
established which can be seen to underpin the work of the city long term.

Key Principles
In Sunderland we are committed to ensuring that children and young people are able to
enjoy their free time and to play freely.

To achieve this, we recognise that:

      Play is essential to children and young people’s well-being both now and in the
       future;

      Children and young people have the right to play, as set out in article 31 of the
       United Nations Charter for Human Rights;

      The views of children and young people should be sought and listened to, meeting
       their individual needs in an inclusive way;

      Play needs to be fun and enjoyable…. free, accessible and inclusive;

      Children and young people’s ‘right to play’ does not come without responsibilities
       to themselves and others;

      Children and young people deserve a balanced range of play opportunities. Within
       well-design environments, risk is essential to play;

      Sharing resources and skills will help make play more sustainable.




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5. National, Regional and Local Context
Overview
Progress in the development of play, is within the context of a rapidly changing
environment, in which government policy and changing user expectations demand new
approaches to the provision of play for children and young people.

There are a plethora of documents and strategies that inform and influence play
development, many of which informed the previous Young People’s Play and Urban
Games Strategy. A summary diagram of the key national influences, together with more
localised influences, is detailed below in Figure two.

Figure Two


                                 Sunderland Partnership
                               Sustainable Community Strategy
                                           and LAA




 National                                                                   Local
 Influences                                                                 Influences
 UN Convention of
 Human Rights             Children            Local      Sport &            City Play
                         and Young        Development    Physical           Partnership
 Every Child
 Matters                  People’s         Framework     Activity           Integrated Young
                            Plan                         Strategy           People’s Services
 Youth Matters
                                                                            Extended Schools
 Getting Serious
 about Play                                                                 Sunderland’s LAA

 DDA legislation                                                            Child Care
                                                                            Strategy
 Planning for Play

 Local Area
                                 Ongoing Consultation                       Children’s Funded
                                                                            Projects
 Agreements
                                                                            Local Plan/
 Joint Area Review                                                          Development
                                    Sunderland’s                            Framework:
 Planning Policy                                                                Open Space
 Guidance 17                   Young People’s Play and                          Children’s Play
                                                                                 Space
 The Six Acre                   Urban Games Strategy                            Housing
                                                                                 Developments
 Standard                                                                       Playing
                                                                                 Pitches
 Transport and                                                              
 Regeneration                                                               Playing Pitch Plan
 Strategies




                                 Performance Indicators




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5a. National and Regional Context
In the next section a brief summary is given on some key National and regional drivers for
change.

Every Child Matters – Chance for Change
At a National level, of clear significance is the Laming Review and subsequent legislation -
‘Every Child Matters – Chance for Change’ (2005). The legislation aims for every child to
have the chance to fulfil their potential by reducing levels of educational failure, ill health,
substance misuse, teenage pregnancy, cause and neglect, crime and anti-social
behaviour among children and young people.

Consultation with children, young people and families identified the following five key
things which mattered the most:

      Being healthy: enjoying good physical and mental health and living a healthy
       lifestyle;
      Staying safe: being protected from harm and neglect;
      Enjoying and achieving; getting the most out of life and developing the skills for
       adulthood;
      Making a positive contribution – being involved with the community and society
       and not engaging in anti-social or offending behaviour;
      Economic well-being: not being prevented by economic disadvantage from
       achieving their full potential.

A number of previous schemes have also helped build foundations to this work such as
Surestart Children’s Centres, full service extended schools and the young people’s fund.
There is however clearly more to do. The benefits of children’s play are closely linked to
the five outcomes for children and young people. In section six, the Case for Play is
detailed against these outcomes, using Sunderland based examples for evidence.

Getting Serious about Play
There has been a renewed interest in children and young people’s entitlement to play, and
undoubtedly the Frank Dobson review helped to stimulate the debate. ‘Lets take play
seriously’ (Dobson, 2004) laid down some clear issues around current investment in play
services and facilities and the need for play to be inclusive and for all children and young
people. The report highlighted that funding should be focused on areas with poorest
access to good quality opportunities.

In response to this report, in 2006 the Big Lottery Fund announced £124million investment
as part of a Children’s Play Programme. £15million will set up a supporting infrastructure
to raise the profile and capacity of play in England. Play England has been established to
deliver this.

United Nations Convention on Rights of the Child (1991)
People across the world agree that every child has the right to play. Article 31 of the
United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child makes this quite explicit. This
fundamental right was expressed in more detail in the Charter for Children’s Play;

‘All children need to play and have the right to play. Children of all ages should be able to
play freely and confidently on their own and with other children (Children’s Play Council,
1998)




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Managing Risk in Play Provision
Children and young people need and want to take risks when they play. Play provision
aims to respond to these needs and wishes by offering children stimulating, challenging
environments for exploring and developing their abilities. Unfortunately:

       ‘There is growing concern about how safety is being addressed in the
       children’s play provision. Fear of litigation is leading many play providers to
       focus on minimising the risk of injury at the expense of other more
       fundamental objectives. The effect is to stop children and young people
       enjoying a healthy range of play opportunities, limiting their enjoyment and
       causing potentially damaging consequences for their development. This
       approach ignores clear evidence that playing in play provision is a
       comparatively low risk activity for children and young people’.
                                                     (Play Safety Forum August 2002)

It is clear that within well-designed environments, risk is essential for play. This has been
established in Sunderland’s principles for play.

Planning for Open Space Sport and Recreation (planning policy Guidance note
PPG17 DETR 2002)
This document places a requirement on Local Authorities to commit to ensuring adequate
and good quality open spaces, sport and recreation facilities which are available to whole
communities. The guidance exhorts Local Planning Authorities to undertake robust
assessment of existing and future needs of their communities for open space, sports and
recreational facilities, developing with the community a vision for open space in the future.
Assessment should be used to inform development of locally derived standards for
provision of open space, sports and recreation. Local standards should include
quantitative, qualitative and accessibility elements.

Improving Urban Design
Urban design goes beyond building design. It is about the relationships between different
buildings; the relationships between buildings and streets, squares, parks, waterways and
other spaces that make up the public domain. Good urban design involves making places
for people and has an important role to play in terms of ensuring new developments
provide, and are appropriately integrated with, play spaces.
Good design of public space means creating spaces in which people want to spend time
and that they enjoy using. Above all, good design takes advantage of the opportunity to
create environments that are truly inspirational.
Over the last twenty years there has been chronic under-investment in parks and other
public space. Nationally the employment of full-time on-site staff at all major parks and
green spaces is no longer taken for granted, and maintenance is often undertaken by a
contractor who has no particular attachment to one place or another. In reaction to this
decline, government has shown increased interest over the last few years in encouraging
better-designed public and green space.
The Urban Green Spaces Taskforce report, Green Spaces, Better Places (2002)
highlighted the benefits of public space and informed a programme of action for national
and local government outlined in ‘Living Places: Cleaner, Safer, Greener’ (2003).
The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister’s (ODPM) Sustainable Communities Plan has
pledged money for the improvement of public space. Local Authorities are also
encouraged to access funding from lottery sources, Neighbourhood Renewal Funds and
other area based regeneration schemes. The Commission for Architecture and the Built
Environment (CABE), the Government's advisor for design and architecture, encourages
policy makers to create places that are safe, beautiful and efficient to run. It is important

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that this play strategy considers the importance of urban design, and the urban design
officer has been consulted on key actions to ensure such principles are considered.

National Performance Measurement
The Play Council’s research (2006) identified that if other sectors are to ‘take play
seriously’ we needed to develop a balanced set of indicators to measure the ‘play offer’ to
children and young people across an authority area and to demonstrate the potential
contribution to the ‘Every Child Matters’ (2004) outcomes.

The research suggested that the indicators should measure the performance of local
authorities on three dimensions:

      Children and young people’s access to and use of spaces and facilities for play;
      Children and young people’s experiences;
      The quality of local spaces for play.

At the time of writing, nationally proposed indicators from the Play Council (and the
collection methods) are still being piloted and include:

      Percentage of children and young people aged birth to 16yrs who play for at least
       4hrs each week (School and household survey);
      Percentage of children and young people aged 0 -16 that have access to at least
       three different types of space or facility at least one of which is a dedicated place
       for play and informal recreation, which are all within easy walking or cycling
       distance (GIS audits);
      The proportion of facilities and spaces meeting the quality criteria for ‘excellent’
       and ‘good’ ratings (Quality assessment);
      The percentage of all children and young people who think that the range and
       quality of play facilities and spaces they are able to access in their local
       neighbourhood is good/very good (School and household survey).

For consistent comparison these apply to play provision that passes the 3 Frees test
detailed above.




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5b. Local Context - Sunderland
Sunderland is the largest city in England's North East region, with a population of almost
300,000, and whilst enjoying economic benefits associated with its size has significant
deprivation, with 11 of its 25 wards in the top 10% most deprived in the country. 2004
IMD statistics show 46.1% of residents live in the 20% most deprived areas of the city.
Consequently, the health of residents is very poor, with 39% of the ‘adult’ population
overweight and 10% permanently sick or disabled compared to 5.5% nationally.

The city has 71,534 children and young people aged 0-19 years living in Sunderland
(Census 2001). This represents 25.5 % of the population compared to 25.1 % nationally
and 25% in Tyne and Wear (Census, 2001).

It is estimated that within this group, there are 13,000 – 17,000 ‘vulnerable’ children and
young people, approximately one fifth of the under 18 population within the city. The
reasons for and nature of children and young people’s vulnerability vary, and defining
‘vulnerability’ is problematic. In establishing these figures, the following specific groups or
proxy measures have been included:

       Those children eligible for free school meals;
       Those children and young people who are disabled or have additional needs;
       Those children and young people involved with Social Services, who are either
        supported to live at home with their families, to live independently, or in care;
       Those children and young people involved with the Youth Offending Service;
       Those children and young people involved with substance misuse problems;

Sunderland’s high levels of disadvantage combine to impact negatively on health and
well-being which presents significant challenges and at times a culture of reduced
aspirations.

The Sunderland Partnership, Local Strategies and Plans
These challenges are however clearly embraced by Sunderland Partnership with an
effective and evolving supporting infrastructure. The partnership has developed the
Sunderland Strategy 2004-2007 with a shared vision:

       To make Sunderland a prosperous city, a desirable safe and healthy place to live,
       work, learn and visit, where all people can reach their full potential

The Sunderland Strategy is designed to ensure that all partners work together to meet the
challenges which have been articulated by partners and local people. The strategy is
currently being reviewed to continue the good work but also to consider the new
challenges detailed within the 2006 Local Government White Paper. The revised
Sunderland Strategy will need to be a Sustainable Community Strategy (SCS) to provide
Sunderland with a long term aspirational vision for the city (10-15yrs). The city’s Local
Area Agreement (LAA) will also need to be consistent with the new SCS. This will include
18 statutory targets and a maximum of 35 others drawn from a basket of 200 targets to be
announced following the 2007 comprehensive spending review.

We do not at this stage know if a play specific target is to be included in the Local Area
Agreement. However, this play strategy is considering the outcomes of the National
Performance Management pilots as above and already has play targets within the
Children and Young People’s Plan which remains a key block for the LAA’s. In doing so
the city prepares itself well for ensuring play is strategically placed. Further, it is
increasingly obvious the benefits of play to a range of agendas (see chapter 6) which
means that the work of this strategy is likely to contribute towards many targets. It should
also be noted that the LAA is also viewed as the basis upon which the city is inspected

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under the new Comprehensive Area Agreement which is scheduled to replace the current
Comprehensive Performance Assessment (CPA) in 2009.

As detailed in figure two, the Sunderland Partnership has an overarching influence over
the following development plans and strategies.

       The Children and Young People’s Plan
       The Local Development Framework
       Sport and Physical Activity Strategy

These maybe viewed as having the most direct and specific impact on planning,
development and delivery of play.

Children and Young People’s Plan
In developing integrated children’s services in Sunderland, the newly formed Children’s
Trust Board are currently driving forward the Children and Young People’s Plan 2006-
2009. The document endeavours to set out, in clear, accessible terms what everybody in
the Children’s Trust is doing to improve the outcomes and quality of life for all children and
young people in Sunderland in line with the Every Child Matters framework.

The vision for children and young people in Sunderland, developed by the Children’s Trust
is of an integrated children’s service, designed around the needs of children, young
people and their families: -

        Working together to improve life chances and aspirations for each child and
        young person in Sunderland

The plan incorporates 32 priorities for improvement and priority 16 identifies that the city
needs to:

        Improve access to play and leisure opportunities for all children and young
        people

A range of actions linked to improving access to play, leisure and sport have been
planned, many of which are about a core offer of accessible places to play and these
should be considered in this developing strategy. In a recent interim review of the children
and young people’s plan, which included consultation with over 500 children and young
people, ‘affordable access to play and leisure opportunities’ were identified as a key
priority.

We have already referenced that over 17,000 children and young people in Sunderland
may experience extra barriers to reaching their full potential. Any fully equal and inclusive
play strategy must focus on removing barriers to play for groups and individuals who
might experience discrimination. For example, this may include children and young people
living in heavily urban areas or isolated rural areas, black and ethnic minority children and
young people, those with disabilities or special needs, or those going through a family
crisis or experiencing isolation.

The Children and Young People’s Plan (2006-09) also identifies a strong commitment to
actively engaging children and young people in the design, development and decision-
making processes of services they access, as part of the corporate partnership between
the City Council and other key stakeholders with young people. It therefore stands to
reason that such engagement and involvement of young people must also include
representative children and young people from some of our more vulnerable and isolated
citizens mentioned above. It should further be noted that in endorsing this revised strategy

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all key partners and funding agencies are asked to support Article 31 of the United
Nations Convention of the Rights of the Child, which is the right of children and young
people to play and to choose what they do in their free time.

Sunderland’s Local Development Framework
The Local Development Framework is an emerging document which sets out in the form
of a portfolio, the local development documents which will collectively deliver the spatial
planning strategy for Sunderland City. It will therefore play a major role in shaping the
future of the built and natural environment, which so often either enhances or restricts
young people’s ability to access play provision. The framework undoubtedly impacts on
the previously mentioned Every Child Matters outcomes including greenspace for healthy
environments, safe design of neighbourhoods.

The Framework will shape the overall development of the City and will include policies
that will aim to enhance housing, retail, employment, green space, schools and transport
infrastructure, all of which inform where people live, work, enjoy recreation, learn and
study, and how they travel safely between them.

The current Unitary Development Plan, which was formally adopted in 1998, is currently
under revision and will be replaced by a Local Development Framework. The timetable
for this revision is set out in the City Council’s Local Development Scheme. A schematic
diagram illustrating the relationship between this play strategy and a range of emerging
documents is illustrated in appendix one.

Sunderland has a number of major regeneration areas and therefore the Framework will
provide an opportunity to ensure that new developments are supported by the right
amenities for residents of all ages.

Current Unitary Development Plan policy (Policy H21 and Policy R3) allows the City
Council to place an obligation on developers to contribute towards the provision of
infrastructure, including play, to meet the needs of future residents within the development
or to lessen any adverse off-site effects. Contributions from developers are negotiated by
way of a planning obligation made under section 106 of the Planning Act 1990 and are
built into a legal agreement between the developer and the City Council. At present, a
standard capital charge of £660 per house of 2 bedrooms or more is requested for play
provision. Alternatively, particularly on large developments, a planning condition is placed
on the developer to provide play provision of an appropriate standard within the new
development.

The current Unitary Development Plan recognises the need for a hierarchy of both open
space (Policy L5) and dedicated playspace provision (Policy L6)

In terms of dedicated play space Policy L6 requires

       i)      A minimum of 4 district play areas
       ii)     Satellite play areas to be provided within 1km of every child in the city;

The policy L6 also suggested that local doorstep provision where practicable would be
provided within pocket parks. However, it should be noted that since the policy creation,
increasing challenges around community safety of hidden or poorly designed areas
means that such small open spaces or pocket areas would not be prioritised or preferred
as equipped sites. A number of equipped site removals to enhance liveability have been
completed over recent years. The areas generally remain important green play space.



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Policy L6 aims to achieve a standard for dedicated children’s play space of 0.6-0.8ha per
thousand population, which will be reasonably distributed across the city. In areas where
it is impossible to approach this standard, consideration is given to the more flexible use
of space provided for educational or other purposes.

The City Council is currently working towards a review of these policies. Part of this
review requires the preparation of a Green Space Strategy. In July 2002, the Government
published Planning Policy Guidance 17: Planning for Open Space, Sport and Recreation
(PPG17). PPG17 describes the role of the planning system in assessing opportunities
and needs for sport and recreation provision and safeguarding open space. The Green
Space Strategy will be developed in the context of PPG17 to ensure provision on a local
and area basis is properly planned and that it is appropriate for all the community. Council
Officers leading the Green Space Strategy have been involved in the development of this
revised play strategy and it is recognised that in order to facilitate play there is a strong
need for higher quality and well designed open spaces within housing estates.

Sport and Physical Activity Strategy
This strategy was adopted by the Sunderland Partnership in 2005 and illustrates a wide
range of actions to enhance physical activity levels of the population to a minimum 3 x
30mins physical activity a week. The city’s recent results illustrate just 20.8% of residents
meeting this target. Significant progress has been made throughout Sunderland in
encouraging schools to meet the National target of 2hrs of PE each week for children and
young people 5-16yrs, but it is clear that play opportunities often add proportionately more
to physical activity levels of children and young people all year round.

There are clear benefits of designing public spaces such as parks, communal areas and
‘green lungs’ with the needs of all ages, to ensure a cohesive and vibrant space which
encourages active living and transport solutions. The Sport and Physical Activity Strategy
therefore encourages a range of activities to increase individual “wellness”, and many
such activities can be enhanced through the provision of safe and local community areas
of which play areas can be a part. By ensuring every child and young person has access
to a core offer of play provision which is free and accessible, we are maximising our
chances of encouraging young people to be active.

The strategy also recognises the development of a Community Sports Network which
harnesses the enthusiasm of local partners in driving forward participation on a local level.
Increasingly, this network should help to channel resources and expertise into the
development of such opportunities. Partners who wish to work towards supporting current
and new play opportunities are encouraged to join the network.

In summary, at a National level there are a plethora of documents and strategies
that inform and influence the development of play. ‘Moving Forward’ means
ensuring we understand the range of factors and policies at a national level that
inform local planning of high quality play. It is clear that access to play is seen as
an essential ingredient to the well-being of children and young people. This is
illustrated in the next section – a Case for Play.




Play and Urban Games Strategy June 2007
                                             17
6. The Case for Play
The introduction identified some broad advantages to play and indeed barriers which have
developed in modern society. Building upon the national and local context the following
section illustrates how play can contribute to all five outcomes for children and young
people specified in the government’s Every Child Matters: Change for Children
programme (2006). Each section has drawn upon a local example in Sunderland which
provides some insight into Sunderland’s journey to date and the impact that play and
urban games has already had on ‘improving life chances and aspirations for each
child and young person in Sunderland’ (CYPP, 2005)

Being Healthy
Play is crucial to health and development throughout childhood, contributing to social,
physical, intellectual, cultural, emotional and psychological development. The physical
activity involved in energetic play provides school-aged children and young people with as
much opportunity to exercise as more structured activities. Good play opportunities also
give children and young people the chance to experience a range of emotions in a safe
way, promoting resilience and fostering self-esteem (Cole-Hamilton and Gill, 2002)

Local Example
The city has invested in a number of purpose built play facilities to encourage active play.
19 new public play areas or adaptions have been built in the last 3 years including five
wheeled sports parks. These new modern facilities offer a variety of play experiences,
movements and social opportunities. The design of such areas are increasingly located on
or near safe school routes, linked by cycle routes and in open spaces which can be easily
accessed by children, young people and families in nearby housing areas. Such
environments all contribute to encouraging children and young people to be healthy.

Staying Safe
Parent’s and children’s fears of strangers, traffic and bullying by other children combine to
stop children playing out as much as they would like. Good play provision protects
children through reducing unacceptable levels of danger while allowing them the
opportunity to challenge themselves and use their own initiative. It enables children to
take risks, to think through decisions and gain increased self-confidence and greater
resilience. There is a growing fear that the increased litigation against many play providers
has resulted in reduced play provision.

Local Example
It is an urban myth that young people hang out in dark places. Young people sometimes
choose street corners because they are well lit and they feel seen and safe! The Box
Youth Project was the first multi use games area which was strategically located next to a
youth provision in response to young people’s needs and wishes. Whilst maintained by
the City Council, there is informal oversight by the youth provider. The resource remains a
provision which young people choose to ‘dip in or out of’ but its locality makes them feel
safe and supported. The young people no longer play in dangerous places such as the
roads. The local police have been fundamental in listening and working with young people
to develop the project.

Enjoying and Achieving
The essence of play is enjoyment: it is how children and young people most enjoy being
themselves. Giving children the chance for free, uninhibited play is essential to their
enjoyment of life. Play also promotes children’s sense of achievement. When playing,
children define their own goals and interests, decide what is success or failure and pursue
those goals in their own way. Their enjoyment of play is linked to the control and choice
they are able to exercise and the personal satisfaction they derive from this. Free play

Play and Urban Games Strategy June 2007
                                             18
allows children a psychologically safe space in which to explore boundaries, try out new
roles and experiences, be fully absorbed by what they are doing and to learn and grow as
individuals and as members of a community.

Local Example
The Play Together network has worked to develop a scrap store and toy library which
supports play providers, schools and parents in encouraging a range of creative play
opportunities for young people. The warehouse is “oozing” with resources and ideas, and
already supports 50 members annually.

Making a Positive Contribution
In good supervised play provision adults involve the children and young people in
decisions about resources and facilities that might be available to them. Local authorities
and community groups are increasingly involving children and young people in play audits
and discussions about their play and free time needs. This results in more appropriate
provision, helps children and young people develop their skills and knowledge, and
ensures they are valued as active community members. Good play provision promotes
community well-being, security and can help prevent bored children and young people
behaving in ways that are socially unacceptable.

Local Example
Young people have led on the development of a wide range of new play spaces and
facilities. Examples include the recently built Fulwell Skate park in which a group of young
people gathered a petition, approached local councillors, researched their wishes,
prioritised a site, developed designs and raised funds for a resource which met their
aspirations. Young people made presentations to councillors, approached residents to
consult and undoubtedly learnt a range of leadership and communication skills whilst
developing a positive solution for their local community. This project is one of many
captured on the young people’s DVD.

Achieving Economic Well-being
Good play provision brings economic benefits through jobs and training, and parents can
feel confident their children are occupied and enjoying themselves. Offering parents the
opportunity to have time away from their children can also be an important benefit of play
provision. Play provision often acts as a focal point for parents and carers to meet, giving
them an opportunity to socialise with other adults.

Local Example
Since 2002 Play Together have worked with the Early Years Partnership to develop and
deliver a range of training opportunities to enhance the play qualifications throughout the
city. Critically a range of non-accredited courses and seminars build confidence amongst
volunteers and playworkers from in excess of 50 voluntary organisations. Many of these
attendees are inspired and choose to further their understanding by attending accredited
courses in Playwork. Over 100 people have engaged with playwork training and 30
achieving level 2 and 3 qualifications in play work.

In summary, the benefits of quality play provision to community life are
unquestionable. Evidence suggests that play makes a very positive difference to
children and young people. It also has a positive impact on the lives of others
within the community. The examples illustrates that if we really want to ‘Move
Forward’ and continue to make the lasting impact required, it is clear the everyone
across the public, private and voluntary sector will need to make a commitment to
work together.



Play and Urban Games Strategy June 2007
                                            19
7. Journey So Far and Audit of Provision
In order to develop the strategy it was important to capture the journey so far across the
city in the development of play. Consideration of the national and local context combined
with ongoing consultation and research, has identified a number of key headings which
have shaped the next section as follows:

      Creation of the Play Partnership
      Consulting and involving young people
      Places for play
      Facilitated play
      Sunderland’s Play infrastructure
      Training, development and building confidence
      Disability support services
      Investment for play
      Performance management and review

Under each heading the journey so far is presented with current position, and finishes with
key challenges.

7a. Creation of the Play Partnership
We have already seen that the definition of play itself is far reaching and can be
confusing. Therefore, identifying those responsible for delivering play in the community
has been challenging. Ensuring all those who should be involved, are involved, has taken
time and resources. However, the City Council has concentrated resources into facilitating
this process which has been led by the Community & Cultural Services Directorate (CCS).
Once the Partnership is fully established, then CCS will ‘step down’ assuming its position
as equal partner member representing Places to Play and Fixed Play Maintenance.

To date, individual membership to the Partnership table has been via nomination by
appropriate departments and agencies with responsibility for play. Details of the
individuals and the organisations are listed in Appendix two.

In summary, the play strategy has developed through an inclusive approach, but on
an individual partner basis rather than a formal regular discussion group. ‘Moving
Forward’ the partnership needs to develop a platform with regular attendees, and
ensure that reporting lines are clear to the Children’s Trust and the Culture and
Leisure Review committee.

7b. Consulting and involving young people and residents
The work of the City Council, Play Together (funded by Children’s Fund) and associated
partners has led to a wide range of ongoing consultation with young people, residents and
ward members in improving provision for play. Young people have been involved in
research projects, presentations to business leaders and councillors, informing decision
and designing new services.

During the compilation of this strategy the specific views of young people citywide have
been captured on a DVD, to summarise why they think the city ‘should take play and
urban games seriously’. The DVD also captures some specific young people who have
led on play projects which they feel have transformed their communities. The city currently
has a number of further groups working on specific play proposals citywide. Last year the
CYPP reported on over 200 children and young people involved in specific consultation
groups to make a difference in their neighbourhoods. The ‘Southwick Investigators’ were a
group of young people aged 8-11yrs who produced a report and DVD of their research on

Play and Urban Games Strategy June 2007
                                            20
play provision in the North area of the city. The research is currently informing designs
around new planned provision for Thompson Park and Southwick School.

Sunderland’s consultation and engagement of children and young people has received
National acclaim. The approach ensures children and young people are at the heart of
play development, but a clear understanding that ‘one size doesn’t fit all’. Neighbours,
agencies, councillors and partners are also involved. Sunderland City Council were
awarded Beacon status for using Sport and Culture to reach Hard to Reach groups, and
the model of consultation and engagement applied termed ‘Cycle of Success’ was well
praised by IDeA and DCMS representatives on the Beacon Panel for Culture & Sport for
Hard to Reach Groups 2006.

In summary, progress has been strong. Clear processes exist within most sectors
in involving children and young people. Key challenges remain in ensuring that
adult residents are comfortable with young people leading such significant service
changes in our communities.

7c. Places for play
The Young People’s Play and Urban Games Strategy (2004) set out to change the way in
which places for play are funded, located, planned, consulted upon and developed
throughout the city.

The city had been left with the legacy of small landlocked sites (sometimes termed pocket
parks) of perceived low value (local areas for play, LAPS). Many of these could not be
further expanded and improved to meet modern aspirations. The 2004 Play and Urban
Games Strategy sought to identify new spaces to create larger more inclusive areas to
reach a wider range of young people up to 19yrs. Where unsuitable equipped sites exist
and are a community safety challenge, recent conversion of such spaces to green space
has been considered.
Significant progress has been made in closing gaps; however there remain deficits
citywide in both the quality and quantity of play spaces.
On this basis, there are a number of factors at any one time which might influence the
location of the next new play project (see figure three)

Figure Three – Influencing factors on key priorities

                                                                    Gaps in Provision
                                                                    (increases % YP
                                                                    accessing quality
                                                                        provision)


                                    Poor National                                                     Poor Play Quality
                                    Playing Fields                                                      (Condition)
                                     Association
                                 ( NPFA) Play Value
                                   where applicable




                                                                         Key
                                                                       Priorities
                          Local enthusiasm                                                                     Availability and
                         from young people                                                                    timing of special
                         to drive the project                                                                 funds (including
                                                                                                                 106 sums)




                                                Socio-Demographic                       Partnership
                                                    factors and                         Opportunity
                                                    challenges




Play and Urban Games Strategy June 2007
                                                                         21
Overwhelmingly, since 2004 the key priority has been to narrow gaps in provision where
young people have no or limited access to dedicated play environments. However,
funding availability has not always enabled such projects to move forward. Other projects
elsewhere may have ‘ring-fenced’ funds, and it is important not to lose such opportunities
given the substantial renovations and improvements required citywide.

Nonetheless, the city has moved away from ad hoc developments which fail to
significantly increase the percentage of children and young people enjoying access, or
developments which place further strain on the already stretched maintenance regime and
resources across city play providers.

Since 2004, 19 developments have been completed. In particular, consultation has led to
increased investment in urban games facilities such as wheeled sports parks and multi
use games areas. Original sites have also seen investment to improve the play value and
quality of the provisions for young people.

Figure Four– Distribution of Projects achieved since 2004.




Play and Urban Games Strategy June 2007
                                           22
The Young People’s Play and Urban Games Strategy (2004) included a full audit of
equipped play provision, which has been updated continuously from that point. This
strategy review however has further revised this information to consider access to play
based upon:

      Revised area regeneration boundaries;
      Play England Typology Guidance;
      National Play Fields Association access standards;
      Unitary Development Plan.

Key elements of these standards are summarised below. It should be noted that access
times to sites will vary with each child so these are broad standards as an indication of
access. Major road, rail and rivers also act as barriers to access in many areas of the city.
As previously mentioned it is about a standard of provision which can be sustained and
offered citywide.

Figure Five – Comparison of Standards

 Play England Typology           NPFA Standard                    City Council UDP and Play
                                                                  and Urban Games standard
                                                                  (2004)

 Type A Door –step spaces        Local Area for Play – within 1   Overall develop 0.6-0.8 Ha of
 and facilities e.g. small       minutes walking time from        play space per 1000
 equipped     play    areas,     home.    100metres distance      population reasonably
 unequipped green spaces         from home. Under 8’S             distributed across the city.

 Type B Neighbourhood            Local Equipped Area for          Aim to provide a hierarchy of
 spaces and facilities e.g.      Play – within 5 minutes          dedicated play provision,
 large equipped play areas for   walking time from home.          including with 3-4 dedicated
 age 5-11years, kick about       400m distance home.              sub-area sites per
 areas                                                            regeneration area and local
                                                                  provisions, which together
 Type C Local spaces and         Neighbourhood     Equipped       provide high quality access
 facilities e.g. equipped play   Area for Play – within 15        1km from every child and
 areas of 8+ items, multi use    minutes walking time from        young person.
 games area, wheeled sports      home. 1000m distance from
 parks, beaches, woodland        home Age 8-14 years


In analysing these standards and considering Sunderland’s position to date, the following
standards will be applied in the analysis and vision work. They aim to provide a hierarchy
of play space and equipped provision which maximises access whilst considering ongoing
sustainability of resources as exemplified in figure 6:




Play and Urban Games Strategy June 2007
                                               23
Figure Six – Sunderland’s Play Distribution Standards
Level           Resource/standard           Age     Estimated Current Examples
                detail                      range catchment
                                            guide applied
Citywide        0.6-0.8 hectares of play    0-19yrs Not       Largely green space but this
                  space per 1000 population                   applicable   could be forest and woodland
                  reasonably distributed across                            areas allocated and fit for
                  the city.                                                play.
                                                                           NB. The size, quality and
                                                                           access needs to be suitable
                                                                           to support Play.
Citywide          Play activity specific for        0-19yrs   Whole city   Sk8
                  whole city.                                              BMX Track
                  Should include relevant                                  Portland School sensory
                  support resources eg.                                    room
                  Toilets, car-parking.
Area based        Activity specific as above but    8-19yrs   1000m plus   Wheeled sports parks
One per area.     popularity means extending                               including: Herrington Country
                  access on an area basis.                                 Park, Fulwell, Houghton,
                  Should include relevant                                  King George, SK8 City etc.
                  support resources. Classified
                  as Type C standard.
Sub-area          High quality resource as a        0-19yrs   1000m        Herrington Country Park,
(previously       minimum equivalent to NPFA                               Pirates Play Park, Hylton
district)         neighbourhood areas for play                             Road Playing Fields, Hetton
4 resources per   and by default will meet Type                            Lyons.
                  C standard. We aspire to
regeneration
                  NPFA play values of 50+ and                              NB. Accepted that younger
area              these facilities will tend to                            children may need parental
                  have additional support                                  support to travel the longer
                  provision such as car-parking                            distances but the diversity of
                  or toilets. They tend to be                              provision offers something for
                  within Parks or next to other                            all ages.
                  community provision.
Local provision   High quality local                0-12yrs   400m         Low Moorsley, Sandhills,
Sufficient yet    neighbourhood equipped                                   Peat Carr, Ryhope
sustainable       areas for play to NPFA                                   Recreation, Mini-Soccer
resources to      standards which will                                     areas.
                  generally meet Type B
extend access
                  standard as a minimum.
locally and       Estimated NPFA play value
support sub-      35+ or high quality green
area resources    space for play.

                  Or High quality but individual    11-       400m         Box Youth Project MUGA,
                  kick walls or multi use games     19yrs                  Glebe Kickwall, Ryhope
                  areas for which more local
                  access would be served.

                  Isolated and equipped Type        0-6       100m         Hexham, Swirrel Edge
                  A developments (Current
                  assets exist but would not be
                  further developed or
                  encouraged – some are
                  recommended to be
                  converted to green space)




Play and Urban Games Strategy June 2007
                                               24
In the appendices 2a-f the maps of distribution for equipped provision categorise the sites
with their estimated catchment areas and their relevant quality. At this stage a notional
high, medium and low quality has been applied to each equipped play provision. This has
been based upon an independent visual inspection and includes current ‘play value’ of the
site and condition of assets. In future the Green Spaces Strategy will further allow
mapping of high quality green spaces which further compliment provisions for children and
young people.

In summary, significant progress has been made in developing new dedicated
equipped places for play, with over a 10% increase in children and young people
receiving new or improved provision within 1km of their door. Additional access
has been facilitated by the provision of wheeled sports parks. Indeed, the provision
has challenged our collective thinking and includes multi-play environments and
varied teenage provisions to meet modern needs. However, a large number of
children and young people still do not have access to a dedicated equipped play
environment. It is estimated that just 15% have access to a high quality equipped
play environment due to the deteriorating condition of a wide range of assets.
Further work is required as part of the strategy to establish a full audit of access to
high quality green spaces and woodland areas for play.

7d. Facilitated play provision
This section is called ‘facilitated’ play, which encourages us to move away from purely
supervised play which can imply very passive support. Facilitated play provision is where
trained playworkers support an environment which helps to engage or enable children and
young people to interact or generate new opportunities and choices.

Voluntary and Community Sector (VCS) organisations provide a significant number and
range of out of school and holiday facilitated play provision across neighbourhoods in
Sunderland. Efforts have been made to establish the distribution of the venues from which
these services are delivered as in appendix four. A small number of facilitated play
schemes are also available to disabled children during the summer holiday time, and
many of these opportunities have been funded through the Children’s Fund.

The current funding which is provided by Play Together via ETEC, and Sunderland
Council Play grants via CCS is extremely useful to “pump prime” these projects and
provide valuable short term funding. What it does not do is provide secure funding for
these providers to plan strategically/employ workers on anything other than a sessional
basis.

Consultation with partners illustrate that dedicated supervised play provision by its very
nature is expensive and hard to sustain unless it is delivered completely by the VCS. Even
then there are costs for venues, training and equipment. The schemes detailed in
appendix four are understood to serve a small catchment area of regulars, and are all
heavily dependent upon external funding. This means that the majority of the schemes
citywide are short term or intermittent and are unable to meet the regular aspirations of
children and young people.

In summary, within the identified current resources of all partners, the
sustainability and development of facilitated sessions offered free of charge
citywide would not appear possible. Medium - long term, sustainable funding needs
to be established or prioritisation made of the facilitated services developed
citywide to endeavour to channel funds identified. The limited resources further
compound the fact that despite developing playworkers, there remain limited paid
employment opportunities to recruit them. This could mean the benefit of such
skills is lost.

Play and Urban Games Strategy June 2007
                                            25
Access to facilitated play opportunities could be further increased by enhancing
the ‘play value’ of provision by parents, carers and generalist providers in the
Youth or education sector. Once again for sustainability reasons these should be
focused where external places for play are poor – and it is important that the 3-
Frees principles are maintained regardless of the nature of the provider.

7e. Sunderland’s Play Infrastructure and Support
The City Council supports the embryonic Play Partnership which has a responsibility for
this strategy development, implementation and performance management.

Etecs ‘Play Together’ offers support, information and advice to all voluntary and
community sector (VCS) projects which are part of the play network. They also make
regular visits to play projects to monitor development, support and offer advice to
playwork staff and volunteers. The network offers regular network meetings to discuss
play-related matters and share good practice.

Each year Play Together organises a convention with the aims of raising the profile of play
work, sharing good practice and bringing together those involved in play from across the
city. This year over 70 delegates from 35 VCS organisations attended.

In the early stages of the Children’s Fund consultation, one of the barriers to improving
play for many VCS providers was access to a varied and high quality range of resources.
Given the challenges previously mentioned around sustainability for small play sessions
and groups, a central store to share and borrow equipment was viewed as economically
beneficial to the city. In 2003 Play Together developed a small resource base in an
unused space within ETEC premises. Play projects could borrow and collect play
equipment for children and young people aged 5-16 years. In January 2005,
Neighbourhood Renewal Funding (NRF) enabled Play Together to expand the service into
a dedicated centre, with a part-time resource co-ordinator and critically a vehicle to
support delivery and collection for those groups without transport. Members also have
access to a newly developed ‘scrap store’ to support creative play and arts activity.
Surplus and scrap materials collected from businesses are recycled for use by young
people. This resource also supports training and demonstrations on the use of playwork
equipment and scrap store ideas.

Further funding from Back on the Map (Hendon and the East End New Deal for
Communities) and Sunderland Early Years and Childcare Team has extended the play
resource centre provision to support resources for pre-school children through the addition
of a toy library in the children’s centre areas of Hendon, Silksworth and Ryhope. This
service is also supported by a mainstreamed playworker from the Children’s Centres
funding to work directly with parents and their children to improve the quality and
understanding of the importance of play. This post will encourage further training through
signposting and mentoring. The toy library is part of the Toy Library Network.

There is also the need for improved storage space for play equipment for supervised play
sessions. Although the play equipment loan service and scrap bank managed by Play
Together provides a useful source of play resources there is an ongoing need to find
suitable storage space for equipment such as play materials, camping and other larger
items. Few indoor play venues have the capacity to store the necessary equipment and
many play providers are paying considerable amounts to private and public sector
partners for use of local storage facilities

This developing play infrastructure has been critical in providing support to
voluntary sector play providers. Further work is required to ensure that the range of

Play and Urban Games Strategy June 2007
                                            26
resources offered by Play Together and the Children’s Centres are maximised
citywide, which in turn will assist in their sustainability. Increased performance
measurement data is also required around the central toy and scrap stores, on the
impact of its work to help justify further resource.

7f. Training, development and building confidence
For play in Sunderland to ‘Move Forward’ there is no doubt that the value of playwork as a
professional activity needs to be appreciated. Playwork is about learning and development
of children and young people, through interactions by experienced and skilled workers
who have been appropriately trained or qualified. There are evolving National Standards
of Playwork, which cover the traditional facilitated play setting. The standards fail to cover
other related professional work in play including safe play inspection skills and play
design. Nonetheless, the strategy should consider the ethos and values of the work as it
moves forward.

The monitoring of quality standards of facilitated or supervised play provision is an
important aspect of future development. Early work by Etecs ‘Play Together’ supported
training and skills audits across voluntary and community sector (VCS) funded
organisations, which helped inform training and development programmes of both
accredited and non-accredited courses.

In some instances it had been a number of years since staff and volunteers from play
projects have undertaken training and therefore obvious anxieties arise. To address this
issue, various short training sessions have been offered in ‘bite size’ chunks, to allow
people to ease themselves into a learning environment, to gain skills and knowledge that
could be immediately transferred into the workplace and therefore giving them confidence.

In addition to the attendance at taster sessions and workshops, available statistics
suggest over 10 people have achieved the level 1 play work qualification (Take 5 for
Play), 24 people have achieved a level 2 and 9 people have achieved a level 3 since
2003.

VCS groups also need support to manage the process of Ofsted registration and quality
standards and encouragement to continually improve their performance through reflective
practice and ongoing opportunities for informal and formal learning.

In terms of new standards in inspection and design of play, Sunderland City Council are
active members of the Tyne and Wear Play association. This work has led to the city
hosting courses to share expertise in the sub-region.

In summary, whilst Sunderland has gone some way to establishing a responsive
network, increasing the level of skills, knowledge and confidence of grass roots
organisations, there is still some way to go. Relevant and accessible opportunities
for continued learning for paid and voluntary workers need to be maintained both
within the play setting and through Play Networks and sub-regional and regional
working. The profile of play work qualifications and the national standards needs to
be raised which could include agreed targets for training and development within
the Children and Young people plan. The play partnership needs to provide
support, advice and training to local play providers that will challenge members to
ensure quality standards are reached and adhered to. This might include increasing
the number of Ofsted registered play providers for Under 8’s to extend access and
places. The city appears to have little focus on support for organisations
supporting the play needs of our older children and young people aged 8-19 years.

7g. Disability support services

Play and Urban Games Strategy June 2007
                                             27
The city and its partners have commitment to inclusive services citywide, and this has
been reflected in the previous sections. However, it is clearly recognised that some young
people need specialist support to enjoy their free time and play. Sunderland City Council
currently work with a range of partners to provide 90 young disabled people with access to
play, leisure and recreation opportunities each month. This is supported by 83 full-time
places for disabled children and young people to access specialist provision and 140
disabled young people each week are able to attend 8 youth centres citywide. A short
break unit also exists in Sunderland providing for 8 young people at a time, throughout the
year. There are also two specialist play provisions at Sunningdale School and Sea View
Road which enable young people with particular needs to play and relax.

The formal support as described above plays a valuable and key role in supporting
children and young people with disabilities. Children and young people with disabilities
identify with play in the same terms as their peers who are not disabled, they too want to
have access to a range of play opportunities in safe environments and be able to play
together with friends who do not have disabilities. Their barriers to play are the same as
their peers but with a greater emphasis on access both in terms of being able to get to
spaces for play and being able to use equipment in play areas. They also want to be able
to take risks and identify that some of their barriers are the perception of others in respect
of their capabilities. The children and young people’s DVD captures some of their
particular issues perfectly.

In summary, there are a range of specialist support packages in place for children
and young people with severe needs. However, many other disabled children and
young people may require support. A commitment to ‘smartly’ designed play
environments can support children and young people of all abilities. This needs to
be combined with a firm emphasis on all play providers to be inclusive, through
improved training, development and marketing of play. The city would benefit from
increased sharing of good practice from organisations who have excelled in this
area. It is also clear that our children and young people with disabilities do not wish
to be ‘wrapped up in cotton wool’, but to live their lives to the full and enjoy
challenges like their peers.

7h. Investment for Play
Capital investment
In recognising the serious shortfalls in quantity and quality of provision in dedicated play,
the City Council has invested additional capital funds of over £400,000 since 2004. This
additional resource, together with contributions received from developers of new housing,
has provided match funding that has enabled the City Council to access external funding
totalling over £1,100,000. Since 2004 over £1.5million has been invested into dedicated
places for play by the City Council and other partners. However, many residents and
partners would still describe the current quality and distribution of play spaces as patchy
and variable.

The planning process encourages developers to take into account the needs of children
and young people in new development. Contributions can be obtained from developers
through planning agreements made under section 106 of the Planning Act. At the time of
writing there are over 30 signed agreements totalling in excess of £900,000 to support
dedicated places for play. Details of recent planning agreements for play are included in
the resources section of the action plan.

Despite the success of obtaining funding through planning agreements, this source is
limited to areas of the City where residential developments are coming forward. It does
not therefore necessarily correlate with locations where access to play is most needed.
There are also limitations to what can reasonably be obtained from developers and as a

Play and Urban Games Strategy June 2007
                                             28
result it is difficult to support the aspirations of children and young people with this funding
alone. In order to successfully develop play citywide, it is important that additional
external funding is made available. This should be focused on areas where there is a
clear need for improved play provision but are unlikely to obtain sufficient funding to meet
this need through planning agreements.

In addition to contributions to new play facilities, progress has also been made in
negotiating maintenance fees for play provision from developers through planning
agreements. This is essential, as revenue pressures already exist on the current stock of
provision in trying to maintain ageing assets across the city. An independent evaluation of
City Council owned sites illustrates an indicative investment is required of £4.5million over
the next 10yrs. The replacement schedule forecasts a particular challenge in 5-6 years
time.

Revenue investment
The City Council has a revenue budget of just over £400,000 to maintain and develop
over 140 dedicated play sites. The budget supports a team of staff to inspect the sites and
a small repairs, maintenance and development budget. The budget represents an annual
subsidy of £5.60 per child and young person for equipped play provision each year.
Sunderland Housing Group also own and maintain a range of dedicated play sites which
would further increase the city investment into equipped play provision.

In addition, the Childrens Fund for the past five years have commissioned a range of play
services via Etec to support the development of facilitated play sessions. Etec is a
voluntary community sector (VCS) organisation which formed ‘Play Together’. Play
Together has worked with a range of community and voluntary organisations to support
and raise the quality and quantity of sessions offered to children and young people as
previously mentioned. By 2008, over £800,000 will have been invested by the Children’s
Fund in Etec to improve the range and quality of play opportunities for young people.
Neighbourhood Renewal funding has also been accessed to maintain and further develop
the service until 2007. The funding in 2006 of £119,021 has supported over 450 play
opportunities, which have reached over 5,900 children and young people. This is an
annual subsidy of £20.17 for the children and young people who accessed it.

The City Council also offers a small grant scheme to kick start voluntary sector led play
schemes. The grants are for equipment or transport requirements. An average of 30
community organisations are funded up to £250 each year. An audit of recent Strategic
Initiatives Budget applications to the City Council indicates further annual contributions
used to support citywide play development projects.

Estimated Spend Forecast for Play
                                               07/08          08/09           09/10
Capital (Planning Agreements,                  291,000        750,000         750,000
Big Lottery, City Council)
Annual Committed Revenue Funding               519,021        400,000         400,000

All figures are based upon those declared by partners and those known at the time of
writing. Additional grants from the Surestart allocation and Strategic Initiatives Budget
(SIB) grants are all known to contribute to play, but only a small percentage contribute to
play which meets the 3-Frees test.

In summary the capital and revenue investment for play is insufficient to sustain
current provision, not least develop provision where there are current deficiencies.
Investment into places for play has vastly improved although this could go further.
Future planning policies, to be brought forward as part of the Local Development

Play and Urban Games Strategy June 2007
                                              29
Framework, need to reflect both capital investment and future maintenance, as the
investment challenge ahead is considerable. More needs to be made of natural
environments to support play, which may be viewed as more sustainable. The
facilitated play services have largely been reliant upon short term funding and a
number of these sources will soon come to an end. The Play Partnership will need
to increasingly review how its limited revenue and capital resources are used in
order to maximise its impact on the ability of children and young people to access
free play.

7i. Performance Management
Sunderland City Council are already committed to some performance indicators within the
City Council’s Corporate Plan and the Children and Young People’s Plan, but they are not
fully reflective of the provision by all partners and are not fully reflective of the full
spectrum of play. They can therefore be misleading in terms of measuring the city’s full
progress.

Increasingly, other key partners are recognising the value of play to communities and the
Every Child Matters outcomes. For example, the Sunderland ‘Respect’ Action Plan and
the work of the Community Safety Partnership have recently recognised that play could be
a positive solution for ‘somewhere to go’ and ‘something to do’ for many young people
who otherwise may find themselves engaging in less positive activities.

In summary, whilst there has been progress there is more work to be done to
illustrate and profile the benefits of play and urban games in meeting the five
outcomes of Every Child Matter. Work is progressing in the use of GIS systems to
measure access by children and young people to dedicated play spaces and this
will develop over the life of the strategy, to ensure the location of funds and new
sites maximise access. The Play partnership needs to work to develop improved
and consistent qualitative measurements for play across the spectrum in line with
the National pilot for such indicators.




Play and Urban Games Strategy June 2007
                                           30
8. SWOT Analysis
The full detail and extent of the audits and consultation could not possibly be repeated
here, but a summary SWOT analysis has been compiled with partners which brings
together the findings of the spatial audit and the issues raised during ongoing consultation
with adults and young people.

Figure Seven – SWOT Analysis
Strengths                                       Weaknesses
Young people are at the heart of                Access to high quality equipped places for
consultation for new play developments,         play (Baseline estimated at 15%)
Examples of shared resources and                Much provision is of low ‘play quality’.
partnership projects.                           Access to supported inclusive provision for
Wheeled skate park provision – one per          disabled children and young people
area almost achieved.                           Joined up work in prioritising resources for
Sustained City Council capital contribution     play citywide
to play areas                                   Playwork qualifications confused with
External funding opportunities for play         Childcare qualifications.
parks. £1.1Million attracted in last 3years.    The positive profile of play as a positive
Section 106 policy for play in action.          solution to a range of agendas
Play Together with 50 voluntary and             Performance management framework to
community sector members.                       measure the impact of play
Training and development courses for            ‘Locked up’ quality places for play on formal
Playworkers. 50 places each year.               sites.
Innovative citywide scrap store.                Limited facilitated provision which meet the
GIS mapping of city equipped play               3-Frees test.
provision                                       Little or no mainstreamed funds for facilitated
City Council inspection regime of resources     play opportunities.
to meet European safety standards.              Poor usable green space for Play
Toy library and scrap store
Opportunities                                   Threats
Play and young people’s facilities are high     Maintenance requirements of current play
resident priorities.                            provision citywide
Extending our mindset of what ‘play             Poorly located local area play sites requiring
provision may include’.                         removal.
Ensuring quality space for play exists in the   Protection of dedicated play space whilst
Local Development Framework as it               accepting some essential equipped removals
emerges.                                        required.
A formal City Play Partnership                  Short term funded schemes.
Greater partnership working on area basis       The lack of tolerance amongst adults around
between City Council, community sector,         teenage play
schools and Gentoo                              Developers unwillingness to support the
Big Lottery funding for Sunderland for          ethos of quality play
injection to sustainable provision.             Over reliance on developers contributions to
Building Schools for the Future                 restore the city play offer.
Continued efforts by young people to raise      Diminishing green space in some urban
funds from their projects.                      areas
The Play England infrastructure.
Introduction of new technology for
inspection of play resources citywide
GIS mapping and intelligence of services.
Use of mobile resources to support play
Increased inclusion awareness.



Play and Urban Games Strategy June 2007
                                            31
9. The Way Forward…
If play provision is to be improved into 2012 then there needs to be a balance of building
on strengths and recent progress, remedying weaknesses and seizing opportunities. This
will continually need to be achieved in an environment which sometimes presents threats
and problems, causing temporary or longer term barriers to progress.

Building upon the current circumstances which are summarised within the SWOT analysis
and our principles for play, the following strategic vision, objectives and actions have been
established.

Strategic Vision is:
Sunderland will work in partnership to provide, support and sustain a variety of high
quality and accessible play environments and opportunities, for all children and young
people up to 19 years. The city aspires to a core offer of free provision citywide, which
may be supported by affordable facilitated provision as appropriate.


Priority Objectives

      Ensure that play is strategically planned and resourced in partnership

      Involve children and young people in the development of their play
       opportunities and services

      Work in partnership to develop, support and promote high standards for
       play

      Create, improve and develop free and inclusive play spaces

      Seek greater innovation in the development of varied and sustainable play
       opportunities

      Ensure that, in partnership, the city monitors and evaluates the impact of
       play developments citywide to deliver this strategy


The detailed action plans are highlighted in section 11.




Play and Urban Games Strategy June 2007
                                             32
10. Summary - Realising the Vision in 2012
We really have taken play more seriously and we are committed to moving forward.
Sunderland now has a formal partnership of key stakeholders. The partnership has
maintained the agreed principles of play and everyone has worked together to improve
the opportunities for children and young people up to 19 years to access free or very
affordable play provision.

Despite ongoing funding pressures significant capital funding (Big Lottery funding,
developer and partner contributions) has been wisely invested and transformed over 35
places for play. These facilities have given an estimated 40% more children and young
people access to a dedicated play space of high quality 1km from their door. That is a
citywide coverage of 55%.

Many of the provisions are co-located, or near to other centres which children, young
people and their families enjoy. A capital funding package has been secured and a
sustainable business plan agreed to develop a new adventure playground, providing a
particular resource for disabled young people.

It is not just about places for play though - there has also been innovative thinking to
develop sustainable ways of delivering the support services for play. The toy libraries and
scrap store have been maintained. Over 50 members enjoy the resources each year, and
success across the sector is celebrated at Sunderland’s annual convention for play and
urban games.

The process of change has also been important. Many children and young people have
seen things change in their local community for the better. They feel adults have listened
to their concerns and needs. The children and young people have responded positively
and learnt new skills in the process of adding something to their local community.

A strong marketing approach combined with clear measurement of success has helped us
illustrate the positive value of play to many people. Firstly, the play opportunities are
encouraging more young people to be physically active. Reports on physical activity
beyond the school day are positive.

Children and young people also feel safer at play. A street games co-ordinator
occasionally drops by and offers support for the young people if they choose. The local
police and residents, respect the need for children and young people to have ‘somewhere
to go and something to do’. In turn the children and young people understand that their
rights come with responsibilities, to look after property and not to offend others, who also
deserve to share and enjoy the same neighbourhood and public spaces.

Taking play seriously has provided added benefits for adults too. 200 adults have received
support and training to increase the quality of locally provided supervised play sessions.
Mentoring has focused on people working particularly with vulnerable children and young
people.

After 5 years of commitment, children and young people in Sunderland have a greater
number of high quality play opportunities where they are able to ‘follow their own ideas
and interests in their own way and for their own reasons’.

We really have been ‘moving forward’ and taken play more seriously…and Sunderland in
2012 is a much improved and healthier city for it.



Play and Urban Games Strategy June 2007
                                            33
Figure Eight - City Progress by 2012.




Play and Urban Games Strategy June 2007
                                          34
                             11. Action Plans




Play and Urban Games Strategy June 2007
                                          35
Strategic Objective 1
Ensure that play is strategically planned and resourced in partnership.

Action                       Milestones                                                Key Partners        Resources    Outcomes                Timescale
Develop and maintain a       Representatives agreed                                    Community &         Staff time   Regular Play            2007-08
Citywide Play                                                                          Cultural Services                Partnership
Partnership embedded         Terms of reference agreed                                 Play England                     established.
in the city’s planning
process.                     Quarterly updates of progress in Children and                                              Clearly
                             Young People’s Plan.                                                                       communicated
                                                                                                                        performance data
                             Annual report to Leisure and Culture Review and
                             Children’s Trust Board.

Team of ‘Play                Partnership identify possible champions across            Play Partnership    Staff time   Increased positive      2007-08
Champions’ established.      sectors                                                   Youth Parliament                 promotion of Play

                             Inclusion champion established
Liaise with ward             Review the previous years progress in their area          Community &         Staff time   Improved                Annual
members for each             against the Play strategy.                                Cultural Services   Councillor   communication on
regeneration area on an                                                                and partners.       time         priorities.
annual basis                 Discuss planned actions for forthcoming year.             Portfolio Holder.                Agreed prioritisation
                                                                                                                        of resources and
                                                                                                                        funds.
Work to identify further     Identify successful projects which reach children         Play Partnership    Staff time   Increased ongoing       2008-09
funds to maintain            and young people with poor access.                                                         funding or income
successful provision                                                                                                    generation for
piloted by the Children’s    Consider funding opportunities including key                                               selected projects.
Fund                         partners who benefit from the provision.
Prioritise external          Partnership agree prioritised approach to external        Play Partnership    Staff time   Focused funding to      2007-08
investment to maximise       bids                                                                                       continue strategy.
impact and reach
                             Clear use of GIS and performance data to inform
                             partnership decisions.
To prioritise the projects   Establish priorities from Play strategy which have        Community &         Staff time   Bid successful          2007-08
in line with the strategy    greatest impact and best match the funding criteria       Cultural Services
for the city’s allocated                                                                                                Greater access to       2008-2012


Play and Urban Games Strategy June 2007
                                                                                  36
Big Lottery funding.           Develop bids                                                                             high quality play
                                                                                                                        opportunities
                               Submit portfolio                                                                         citywide.
To encourage and               Establish priorities from Play strategy which have      Play Partnership    Staff time   Funding achieved        2007-08
prioritise suitable priority   greatest impact and best match the funding criteria
projects for the Big
Lottery Playful Ideas          Develop bids
fund.
                               Submit portfolio
To ensure that the city’s      Maintain current audit of play spaces on GIS            Community &         Staff time   106 sums focused        2007-2012
106 contributions are                                                                  Cultural Services                towards priority play
strategically placed to        Inform planning decisions in line with GIS mapping      Planning and                     sites.
maximise their impact          and gaps in provision.                                  Regeneration
against the deficits of                                                                                                 Increased access to
provision identified in                                                                                                 play provision
this strategy                                                                                                           citywide.
Establish formal               Establish project team.                                 Development and     Staff time   Guidance to             2007-08
supplementary guidance                                                                 Regeneration                     encourage both
to improve current             Consider guidance in line with LDF.                     -Development                     revenue and capital
planning policy for both                                                               Control                          contributions to
equipped and quality           Monitor completed housing schemes                       -Planning                        development of
natural play                                                                           Implementation                   play.
environments and               Prepare design guidance to encourage developers         -Planning Policy
encourage those                to create well designed play spaces                     Community &
involved in the                                                                        Cultural Services
regeneration process to
improve play spaces.
Review the city’s              Consider best use of resources                          SCC                 Staff time   Full asset plan for     2008-09
approach to inspections        Standard template for assessment established            SHG                 Funding      repair and
to improve efficiency and                                                                                  required     replacement of city
planning approach.             Use of ICT to monitor                                                                    play provisions

                               Full condition surveys of current play assets to
                               support asset planning.




Play and Urban Games Strategy June 2007
                                                                                  37
Strategic Objective 2
Involve children and young people in the development of their play opportunities and services

Action                        Milestones                                             Key Partners        Resources    Outcomes         Timescale
                                                                                                         allocated?
Involvement of children       Include the views of children and young people in      Youth Development   Staff time   Involvement      2008-09
and young people in the       the job descriptions.                                  Group                            of children
development of the play                                                              Youth Parliament                 and young
workforce.                    Children and young people involved in the                                               people is
                              appointment                                                                             illustrated in
                                                                                                                      evaluation
                              Children and young people involved in the                                               documents
                              training.
To ensure that all play       Representatives from all children and young            Community &         Staff time   Number of        2007-2012
projects are led and          people participate when play is developed.             Cultural Services                children and
developed by young                                                                   Youth Development                young people
people’s focus groups,        Research is child led – and in varying formats.        group                            involved.
with support from carers or                                                          Etec
key workers where                                                                                                     Child led
appropriate.                                                                                                          research and
                                                                                                                      consultation
                                                                                                                      approach to
                                                                                                                      developments
To involve young people in    Design and delivery of annual survey                   Play Partnership    Staff time   Survey           2008-09
review and assessment of                                                             Youth Parliament                 results
the strategy progress.        Annual convention to review strategy progress          Youth Development
                                                                                     Group                            Convention
                                                                                                                      feedback
                                                                                                                      forms.




Play and Urban Games Strategy June 2007
                                                                                38
Objective 3
Work in partnership to develop, support and promote high standards for play

Action                         Milestones                                          Key Partners          Resources           Outcomes          Timescale
                                                                                                         allocated?
Establish a consistent         Identify national standards                         Community &           Staff time          A common          2007-2012
standard for Quality Play                                                          Cultural Services                         standard for
based upon the principles of   Liaise with Play England.                           Children Services                         quality play in
play established within this                                                       Play Partnership                          Sunderland.
strategy.                      Develop a Sunderland standard for all play
                               opportunities

                               Consult on new standards and reach
                               agreement.
To identify training needs     Review current information and conduct audit        Children’s Services   Staff time          Known staff       2007-2012
through a workforce analysis                                                       Etec                  Children’s fund     and volunteers
with the play sector.          Use audit to plan training programme                Play Partnership      resource            have their
                                                                                                                             training needs
Address training needs –       Identify funding to support training programme                                                assessed
particularly for supporting
older young people and         Publicise and offer training opportunities                                                    Comprehensive
those children and young       Range of infrastructure support developed                                                     training
people with special needs                                                                                                    programme on
                                                                                                                             offer
.
                                                                                                                             Take up is
                                                                                                                             monitored
To specifically offer play     Establish funding                                   Play Partnership      Staff time          Post secured      2007-2012
training and information to                                                        Children Services
residential children homes,    Sustained outreach playworker in post                                                         Number of
young parents, children                                                                                                      contacts and
homes and foster carers as                                                                                                   training
well as to social workers.                                                                                                   opportunities
                                                                                                                             transferred
Sustain the city’s Toy         Establish annual funding required                   Etec                  Childrens Fund      Number of         2007-2012
Libraries network in                                                               Play Partnership      & Etec until 2008   members using
supporting supervised play     Seek funding                                                                                  the resource

Play and Urban Games Strategy June 2007
                                                                              39
provisions in the home and
the community.                   Secure toy library service and improve                                               Number of
                                 networked capability                                                                 resources
                                                                                                                      purchased
Support, promote and             Establish annual funding required             Etec               Children’s Fund     Number of          2007-2012
sustain the city’s Scrap store                                                 Play Partnership   & Etec until 2008   members using
                                 Seek funding                                                                         the resource

                                                                                                                      Number of
                                                                                                                      resources
                                                                                                                      purchased
To deliver an annual play        Annual play convention                        Etec               Staff time          Number of          Annually
convention in Sunderland to                                                    Play Partnership                       attendees
celebrate success and
gather key professionals and
volunteers.
High profile marketing           Establish funds                               Play Partnership   None                Positive profile   2008-09
campaign to promote the                                                                                               of play
positive value of play.          Agree messages                                                                       increased

                                 Develop marketing campaign including:                                                Reduced
                                 -Website                                                                             complaints for
                                 -Posters                                                                             ‘positive play’
                                 -Leaflets
                                                                                                                      Number of
                                                                                                                      press releases




Play and Urban Games Strategy June 2007
                                                                          40
Strategic Objective 4
Create, improve and develop free and inclusive play spaces

Action                          Milestones                                            Key Partners           Resources Outcomes                   Timescale
                                                                                                             allocated?
Create, improve and             Maintain clear audit of provision                     Community & Cultural   Various as    25% more children      Ongoing   as
develop over 35 children                                                              Services               detailed in   and young people       below
and young people’s free         Continually review in light of citywide               Children Services      appendix 6    with access to high
local spaces citywide           regeneration plans and developments                   Development and                      quality play spaces
which tackle deficits in                                                              Regeneration                         1km from home.
provision as a priority (see    Prioritise funding to achieve developments.           Gentoo
detailed list in appendix 4).                                                         School governors
                                Involve CYP in design and developments

Assess the quality of the       Develop a children and young people’s scrutiny        Community & Cultural   Staff time    A clear record of      Ongoing
city play sites to include      group to include children with disabilities           Services               Unknown       the fully accessible
the play opportunities for                                                            Gentoo                               and high quality,
children and young people       Develop a clear understanding and knowledge           Oxclose Community                    play sites
with disabilities.              of what play opportunities may be possible in         School
.                               order to present choice and influence play            Youth Development                    Non disabled and
                                developments                                          Group                                disabled children
                                                                                                                           are ale to play
                                Establish a quality assessment tool to use                                                 together
                                citywide

                                Ensure findings of assessments feed into
                                ongoing play site developments and proposals.

Increase the number of          Establish where such access would be                  Community & Cultural   Funds         Shared resources       Ongoing
provisions which maximise       beneficial                                            Services               allocated
the use of informal                                                                   Children’s Services    with          Greater usage of
oversight through close         Work with extended schools team and youth             Gentoo                 projects      play resource
proximity to schools, youth     service to develop relationships                      Youth Providers        below.
provisions, children’s                                                                Schools
centres.




Play and Urban Games Strategy June 2007
                                                                                 41
Strategic Objective 5
Seek greater innovation in the development of varied and sustainable play opportunities.

Action                          Milestones                                   Key Partners             Resources    Outcomes              Timesca
                                                                                                      allocated                          le
To increase the opportunities   Involve CYP in investigating alternative     Community and Cultural   Staff time   Greater variety and   Ongoing
to seek innovation in play      approaches to play                           Services                              challenge for CYP
through good design, natural                                                 Development and
play.                           Establish case studies                       Regeneration
                                                                             Private play designers
                                Explore use of natural resources and/or      Gentoo
                                public art                                   Transport

                                Increase access to current resources
                                through the use of creative access points,
                                safer routes and safer neighbourhood
                                zones.

Investigate the opportunities   Mobile resources considered. This could      Play Partnership         Staff time   Increased             2008-09
to develop mobile resources     include mobile staff resources of mobile                                           sustainability
(potentially combined with      equipment resources.                                                               Greater access to
other functions) to support                                                                                        supervised play
seasonal demands or where                                                                                          opportunities
permanent play services
cannot be sustained.
Feasibility study into the      Feasibility funding established              Play Partnership         Staff time   Demand and            2008-09
location and ‘mode of                                                                                              viability (or not)
operation’ of a supervised      Feasibility study completed                                                        established for
adventure play ground to                                                                                           resource
particularly provide support
for those with individual
needs.
Investigate the opportunities   Research opportunities with CYP              Community and Cultural   Staff time   Demand and            2008-09
to extend creatively                                                         Services                              viability (or not)
supervised play provision for   Develop proposals                            Play Partnership                      established for
the youth market (street                                                                                           resource
games, chill out provisions)    Seek funding for proposals

Play and Urban Games Strategy June 2007
                                                                             42
Strategic Objective 6
Ensure that in partnership, the City monitors and evaluates the impact of play developments citywide to deliver this strategy

Action                        Milestones                                               Key Partners         Resources     Outcomes             Timescale
                                                                                                            allocated
To measure and monitor        Clear GIS baselines established                          Community and        Staff time    Clear measure        Annually
performance against the                                                                Cultural Services    Cost of GIS   of number of
number of children and        Regular monitoring.                                      Gentoo               reporting     CYP with
young people with access                                                                                                  access to high
to equipped dedicated play                                                                                                quality play.
space 1km from home                                                                                                       Clear ability to
                                                                                                                          justify further
                                                                                                                          resource
To report on the strategy     Annual report produced and presented.                    Community and        Staff time                         Annually
progress.                                                                              Cultural Services.
                                                                                       Play Partnership
                                                                                       members
To consider the               Review national pilot                                    Play Partnership     Staff time    Ability to justify   2008
recommendations of the                                                                 GIS Team                           resource from
current national indicator    Identify indicators suitable for Sunderland’s strategy                                      non-traditional
pilot and consider the                                                                                                    funding
development of a suite of     Involve CYP in selection and adoption of indicators.                                        sources into
indicators to measure the                                                                                                 Play
impact of this strategy and   Clear performance management framework
performance against the       implemented.
every child matters
outcomes.
To develop consistent         Consistent approach to play inspection and risk          Community and        Staff time    Clear                2009
standards citywide in the     management developed                                     Cultural Services
inspection and                                                                         Gentoo
maintenance of dedicated      Consideration of ICT use citywide                        Schools
play spaces.
                              All play areas inspected consistently.




Play and Urban Games Strategy June 2007
                                                                                43
List of Appendices

Appendix One     – Flow Diagram to show how Moving Forward fits into the LDF System
                 suite of documents.

Appendix Two     – Membership of Sunderland’s developing Play Partnership

Appendix Three – GIS Maps illustrating the distribution and quality of places for play

Appendix Four    – Detailed action plans to create, improve and develop free and inclusive
                 spaces for play

Appendix Five    – List of consultees for strategy




Play and Urban Games Strategy June 2007
                                            44
      Appendix One
      Flow Diagram to show how Moving forward fits into the LDF
      System suite of documents.


      LOCAL DEVELOPMENT FRAMEWORK (LDF) is the                                 UNITARY DEVELOPMENT
  emerging ‘development plan’ for the City and will replace the                          PLAN
                     Unitary Development Plan.                                    (UDP) is the existing
 It includes a timetable the Local Development Scheme (LDS);                   adopted development plan
this identifies the local development documents (some of which                  for the City and is to be
 are outlined below) that comprise the LDF and when these are                     replaced by the LDF
                          to be progressed.




       Other allocations                          Core Strategy                  Developer Contributions &
(     Development Plan                            Development                    Agreement Supplementary
 Document (DPD) will provide               Plan Document (DPD) will               Planning Document (SPD)
      detailed site-specific               provide a spatial vision and           will provide guidance on the
  allocations for employment,             strategy for the City i.e. it will     process of preparing planning
   retail, open space, waste               establish principles relating         and highway agreements (i.e.
     disposal and transport                  to policy for open space                 section 106’s) and the
             proposals                             (in progress)                 standards that will be applied
           (in progress)                                                            for a range of commonly
                                                                                    occurring requirements.




     Greenspace Strategy will
       provide locally derived                ‘Moving Forward’
  standards for provision of open
      space. Standards should
                                           Play and Urban Games
   include quantitative elements,                 Strategy
    a qualitative component and            Identifies clear qualitative and
             accessibility                  quantitative shortfalls in Play
            (in progress)                   and Urban Games provision.




      Play and Urban Games Strategy June 2007
                                                        45
Appendix Two
Membership of Sunderland’s Developing Play Partnership

Alison O’Neill       - Assistant Head of Community Services (Sport and Leisure) –
                     Community and Cultural Services
Julie Russell        - Sport and Leisure Partnership Manager - Community and
                     Cultural Services
Ruth Barker          – Children’s Services
Val Armstrong        – Children’s Services
Kath Butchert        – Children’s Services
Michael Elsy         – Children’s Services
Roseann Szmoru       – Children’s Fund Coordinator – Children’s Services
Dick Ellison         – Etec
Steve Barna          – Sunderland Voluntary Sector Youth Forum
Jim Alprovich        – Assistant Head of Environmental Services
Keith Lowes          – Head of Planning
Mark Hopkinson       – Sunderland Primary Care Trust
Ian Porter           – Gentoo

Legal Services
Community Safety Partnership




Play and Urban Games Strategy June 2007
                                          46
Appendix Three
GIS Maps illustrating the distribution and quality of places for play

3a. North Area – Audit of Provision
Within the North area GIS mapping illustrates that 30% children and young people
currently have access to one medium - high quality dedicated play space or facility within
easy walking or cycling distance (GIS audits)




Play and Urban Games Strategy June 2007
                                           47
3b. South Area – Audit of Provision
Within the South area the GIS sampling estimated 25.5 % children and young people
have access to at least one medium - high quality equipped play space or facility within
easy walking or cycling distance (GIS audits)




Play and Urban Games Strategy June 2007
                                          48
3c. East Area – Audit of Provision
Within the East area GIS sampling illustrated that 21% children and young people
currently have access to at least one medium - high quality dedicated play space or facility
within easy walking or cycling distance (GIS audits)




Play and Urban Games Strategy June 2007
                                            49
3d. West Area – Audit of Provision
Within the West area GIS sampling estimated that 47% children and young people
currently have access to at least one medium –high quality dedicated play space or facility
within easy walking or cycling distance (GIS audits)




Play and Urban Games Strategy June 2007
                                            50
3e. Coalfields Area – Audit of Provision
Within the Coalfields area GIS sampling estimated that 43% children and young people
currently have access to at least one medium- high quality dedicated play space or facility
within easy walking or cycling distance (GIS audits)




Play and Urban Games Strategy June 2007
                                            51
3f. Washington Area – Audit of Provision
Within Washington GIS sampling estimated that 40% children and young people currently
have access to one at least medium - high quality dedicated play space or facility within
easy walking or cycling distance (GIS audits)




Play and Urban Games Strategy June 2007
                                           52
Appendix 4
Detailed action plans to create, improve and develop children and young people’s
free local spaces.

North Area
Action                         Target/Outcome                          Estimated       Timescale
                                                                       Resources
                                                                       allocated?
Full refurbishment of          High quality sub-area resource          106 sums of     2008
Thompson Park provision.       (estimated NPFA play value 50+)         £7,378
                                                                       £16065
                               Increase in children and young people
                               with access to dedicated high quality
                               play space 1km from home.
Full refurbishment of Roker    High quality sub-area resource          106 sums of     2008
Park play provision.           (estimated NPFA play value              £21,794 with
                               50+owners)                              a further
                                                                       £46,986
                               Increase in children and young people   expected
                               with access to dedicated high quality
                               play space 1km from home.
Development of Southwick       High quality new local area resource    None            2008
extended school site and       (estimated play value 35+)
subsequent removal of
Grosvenor Street site.         Increase in children and young people
                               with access to dedicated high quality
                               play space 1km from home.
Consideration of play          Increase in children and young people   Developer       2010
improvements as part of the    with access to dedicated high quality   contributions
Castletown masterplan.         play space 1km from home.               possible
Work with the new academy      Increase in children and young people   None            2010
owners of Hylton Redhouse      with access to dedicated high quality
Primary School to consider     play space 1km from home.
open access play provision
on site.
Removal of Rothley Court       Reduced maintenance burden of low       None            2010
equipped play area into a      play value sites.
green play area.
Review and seek to improve     Increase in children and young people   None            2008
the outdoor Downhill           with access to dedicated high quality
provision to encourage         play space 1km from home.
greater access.
Review and seek to improve     Increase in children and young people   Developer       2011
the outdoor Marley Pots play   with access to dedicated high quality   contributions
location with Gentoo           play space 1km from home.               possible
Neighbourhood renewal
assessment.
Removal of Seaburn Worm        Reduced maintenance burden of low       None            2011
Garden.                        play value sites

Create, improve and develop children and young people’s free local spaces in
South
Action                  Target/Outcome                  Estimated    Timescale
                                                        Resources
                                                        allocated
Full development of St         High quality sub-area resource          £61,524         2009
Matthews Field provision.      (estimated NPFA play value 50+).

Play and Urban Games Strategy June 2007
                                               53
                                 Increase in children and young people
                                 with access to dedicated high quality
                                 play space 1km from home
Full refurbishment of            High quality local area resource        None           2008-09
Herrington Park provision.       (estimated NPFA play value 50+)
                                 Increase in children and young people
                                 with access to dedicated high quality
                                 play space 1km from home.
Review of outdoor play           Potential removal of Puma based         None           2008-10
provision as part of the         outdoor site
Silksworth masterplan and
developing swimming pool
provision.
Consideration of a new           High quality local area resource        None           2010-11
additional local area for play   (estimated NPFA play value 35+)
within the Farringdon area
                                 Increase in children and young people
                                 with access to dedicated high quality
                                 play space 1km from home
Refurbishment of Silksworth      High quality local area resource        None           2009-2011
recreation site to remedy        (estimated NPFA play value 35+)
condition and improve play
value                            Increase in children and young people
                                 with access to dedicated high quality
                                 play space 1km from home .
Allocation of suitable land      Increase in children and young people   Developer      2010-2012
and development of a new         with access to dedicated high quality   contribution
site as part of the              play space 1km from home                anticipated.
Chapelgarth framework and
Masterplan.


Create, improve and develop children and young people’s free local spaces in East
Sunderland.

Action                           Target/Outcome                          Estimated      Timescale
                                                                         Resources
                                                                         allocated
A new development of a play      A high quality sub-area resource        106 sums:      2007-08
site on the edge of Hudson       (estimated NPFA play value 50+)         £29,486
Road School.                                                             £15,384
                                 Increase in children and young people   Also £7,992
                                 with access to dedicated high quality   possible
                                 play space 1km from home.
A new development of a play      A high quality sub-area resource        None           2008-2009
site in close proximity to       (estimated NPFA play value 50+)
Grangetown Primary School.
                                 Increase in children and young people
                                 with access to dedicated high quality
                                 play space 1km from home.
The consideration of             A high quality local-area resource      None           2009-2010
development of a local play      (estimated NPFA play value 35+)
site near to St Josephs
Primary School or Diamond        Increase in children and young people
Hall Junior School               with access to dedicated high quality
                                 play space 1km from home.
Development of Mowbray           Improvements to meet the standards of   106 sums:      2008-09
Park wheeled sports park.        the other area based wheeled sports     £14,712


Play and Urban Games Strategy June 2007
                                                 54
                               park.                                   £31,535
                                                                       £14,102
                               Increase in children and young people   £16,666
                               with access to dedicated high quality   With a further
                               play space 1km from home.               £25,640
                                                                       expected
Encouraging open access to     Increase in children and young people   In house         2008-09
Hendon Young People’s          with access to dedicated high quality   inspection
Project Multi-use games        play space 1km from home                service
area.                                                                  offered to
                                                                       provider.
Development of new             A high quality sub-area resource        Developer        2010-2012
provision as part of the       (estimated NPFA play value 50+)         contribution
Vaux/ARC development site
and removal of the current     Increase in children and young people
low quality Gill provisions.   with access to dedicated high quality
                               play space 1km from home
Development of new high        A high quality sub-area resource        Developer        2010-1012
provision as part of the       (estimated NPFA play value 50+)         contribution
Burdon Lane and Cherry
Knowle site                    Increase in children and young people
                               with access to dedicated high quality
                               play space 1km from home
Development of a new           A high quality local-area resource      Developer        2010-2012
provision on the Ryhope        (estimated NPFA play value 35+)         contribution
Grammar school site
                               Increase in children and young people
                               with access to dedicated high quality
                               play space 1km from home

Create, improve and develop children and young people’s free local spaces in West
Sunderland.

Action                         Target/outcome                          Estimated        Timescale
                                                                       Resources
                                                                       allocated
Development of new             A high quality local-area resources     Fully funded     2010
provision on site as part of   (estimated NPFA value 50+)              by SHG
the Pennywell masterplan.
                               Increase in children and young people
                               with access to dedicated high quality
                               play space 1km from home
Medium term enhancements       A high quality local area resource      None             2008
to the Blackie playsite, and   (estimated value 35+)
then consideration of its
enhancement as part of the     Increase in children and young people
Gentoo renewal plan.           with access to dedicated high quality
                               play space 1km from home
The redevelopment of the       A high quality sub-area resources       106 sums:        2008
two Thorndale Road sites       (estimated NPFA value 50+)              £13,090
into one sub-area site.                                                £13,090
                               Increase in children and young people
                               with access to dedicated high quality
                               play space 1km from home
Development of a new           A high quality local-area resource at   106 sums :       2008-09
provision on South Hylton      (estimated NPFA play value 50+)         £19,871
Playing Field.                                                         £38,391
                               Increase in children and young people   £48,132
                               with access to dedicated high quality


Play and Urban Games Strategy June 2007
                                               55
                                 play space 1km from home
The redevelopment of local       A high quality local play facility            106 sums         2008
play facility at King George V   (estimated play value 35+)                    £126,788
                                                                               £76,920
                                 Increase in children and young people         With a further
                                 with access to dedicated high quality         £19,230
                                 play space 1km from home                      expected

Development of new high          A high quality sub-area resource at           Developer        2009
quality sub-area resource on     (estimated NPFA play value 50+)               funded
the Groves development site
                                 Increase in children and young people
                                 with access to dedicated high quality
                                 play space 1km from home
To work in partnership with      A high quality city resource. (estimated      Heritage         2008-09
the lead officers on the         NPFA play value 50+) with specialist          Lottery Fund
development of play site         support for children and young people         – Parks for
within the overall master plan   with disabilities.                            People
for Barnes Park.


Create, improve and develop children and young people’s free local spaces in
Coalfields area.

Action                           Measure of success                            Estimated        Timescale
                                                                               Resources
                                                                               allocated
The development of               A high quality local area site (estimated     None             2008
Newbottle (rear melrose          NPFA play value 35+)
gardens)
                                 Increase in children and young people
                                 with access to dedicated high quality
                                 play space 1km from home
The development of a play        A high quality local area site (estimated     Partially        2009-09
site on the outskirts of         NPFA play value 35+)                          106 sums:
Barnwell Primary School                                                        £67,235
                                 Increase in children and young people         £1,282
                                 with access to dedicated high quality         £20,628
                                 play space 1km from home                      With further
                                                                               £12,820
                                                                               expected
The refurbishment of Kier        Two high quality local area play facilities   Partially        2008-09
Hardie site and development      which compliment each other (each with        106 sums:
of a site next to Dubmire        an estimated NPFA play value of 35+)          £25,640
School to complement each                                                      £72,266
other.                           Increase in children and young people         £8,022
                                 with access to dedicated high quality
                                 play space 1km from home
The new development of a         High quality local area resource              Fully –          2007-08
play site on the Biddick site    (estimated NPFA play value 35+)               developer
B                                                                              built
                                 Increase in children and young people
                                 with access to dedicated high quality
                                 play space 1km from home
The new development of a         A high quality local area resources           Fully            2008-09
play site on the Biddick site    (estimated play value 35+)
A or enhancing
Grangewood.                      Increase in children and young people
                                 with access to dedicated high quality
                                 play space 1km from home

Play and Urban Games Strategy June 2007
                                                   56
The development of a new        High quality on-site provision by the   Fully –         2010
sub-area provision as part of   developer (estimated NPFA play value    developer
the Easington Lane              50+).                                   build
development.
                                Increase in children and young people
                                with access to dedicated high quality
                                play space 1km from home
The development of the          High quality sub-area site resource     Partially       2009-2010
quality of the Flatts site      (estimated NPFA play value 50+) which
                                has informal oversight by a youth
                                provider.

                                Increase in children and young people
                                with access to dedicated high quality
                                play space 1km from home
The removal of Hetton Park      A high quality local area resources     None            2009-2011
site in line with the Hetton    (estimated play value 35+)
Downs (Eppleton) Area
Action Plan currently at        Increase in children and young people
‘Consultation on preferred      with access to dedicated high quality
option’ stage. This could be    play space 1km from home
subject to change.
Alternative provision could
be alongside the newly
planned swimming pool.
The development of a large      High quality on-site provision by the   Fully. –        2010
sub-area site as part of        developer (estimated NPFA play value    developer
Lambton Cokeworks               50+).                                   contributions
development.
                                Increase in children and young people
                                with access to dedicated high quality
                                play space 1km from home


Create, improve and develop children and young people’s free local spaces in
Washington area.

Action                          Measure of success                      Estimated       Timescale
                                                                        Resources
                                                                        allocated
The development of play         A high quality sub-area resource at     None            2007-8
provision in Barmston Village   (estimated NPFA play value 50+)
on a newly agreed site.
                                Increase in children and young people
                                with access to dedicated high quality
                                play space 1km from home
The development of a            A high quality local area resource.     None            2007-08
teenage multi use games
area in Sulgrave.               Increase in children and young people
                                with access to dedicated high quality
                                play space 1km from home
The development of a new        A high quality local area resources     Fully           2007
local play area provision at    (estimated play value 35+)
Rickleton Park
                                Increase in children and young people
                                with access to dedicated high quality
                                play space 1km from home
The full removal of Swirrel     Reduced burden on current inspection    Fully           2007
Edge, Hexham and                systems with low play value.


Play and Urban Games Strategy June 2007
                                                57
Simonsburn, and
replacement with landscaped
areas.
Gentoo to review the cluster     Reduced burden on current inspection    Unknown          2009
of small equipped sites of       systems with low play value.
low play value in
consideration of larger higher
quality sites.
The development of a sub-        A high quality sub-area resource        Partially        2008-09
area site in Albany Park.        (estimated NPFA play value 50+)         106 sums:
                                                                         £57,120
                                 Increase in children and young people   £24,639
                                 with access to dedicated high quality   £16,025
                                 play space 1km from home                With a further
                                                                         £69,228
                                                                         expected
The full refurbishment of play   A high quality sub-area resource        Partially        2008-09
provision in Glebe Park in       (estimated NPFA play value 50+)         106 sums:
line with the Glebe renewal                                              £13,900
plan.                            Increase in children and young people   £24,395
                                 with access to dedicated high quality   £6,410
                                 play space 1km from home                £13,900
                                                                         £34,045
The full refurbishment and       A high quality local area resource      None             2011
relocation of a play site in     (estimated play value 35+)
Princess Anne Park
                                 Increase in children and young people
                                 with access to dedicated high quality
                                 play space 1km from home
Development of a local area      A high quality local area resource      None             2008
play provision in Holly Park     (estimated play value 35+)
to counteract the current
removals nearby                  Increase in children and young people
                                 with access to dedicated high quality
                                 play space 1km from home




Play and Urban Games Strategy June 2007
                                                 58
Appendix 5

List of Key Consultees for the Strategy
Citywide Children and Young People Groups (a separate DVD supports this
document which includes children and young people from local schools,
youth groups and specialist play projects)
City’s Sports Ambassadors and Youth Parliament
Citywide Residents
Citywide Councillors
Gentoo Area Managers
    Michelle Meldrum
    John Chapman
    Eric Johnson
    Andrew Griffiths
    Alan Duffy
Children’s Services
    Extended Services
    Capital Development Team, Primary
    Capital Development Team, Secondary
    Disability Services
    Youth Services
Children’s Fund Representatives
Etec
Sunderland Community Network Members
Community Sport Network Members
Members of Play Together – Community and Voluntary Sector Play Network
Community Safety Partnership
Sunderland’s Local Multi Agency Partnerships, chaired by the area police
inspectors
       – 9 area based crime reduction groups
Children’s Services, Sunderland City Council
Development and Regeneration Directorate
    Planning and Environment Service
    Regeneration
    Property Services
Community and Cultural Services Directorate
    Environmental Services
    Culture and Tourism, including Library Service
    Community Services
Culture and Leisure Review Committee
Children’s Trust Board




Play and Urban Games Strategy June 2007
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