activeplay.org.uk aims to increase the quality of support and guidance available to play workers, school staff and volunteers and in turn get more children active through play. The site gives staff members and volunteers access to new and existing information and support that will help them improve the lives of children through increased physical activity and physical literacy.
The website, and resources have been developed in collaboration between Agile, Inspiring Scotland and the University of Strathclyde as part of a University funded Knowledge Exchange grant. This group of partners brings together a unique and complementary set of expertise in policy, funding, research, education, training and programme development.
This digital resource has been developed following consultation with delivery staff and volunteers across a number of play and physical activity programmes. It has been designed to complement training by providing ongoing access to high quality delivery and learning material along with the means by which to connect and collaborate with others working in the field. The resources within the site have been developed using evidence based materials however structured and designed in such a way to make them accessible to all.
The site was launched in September of 2016 as a pilot project to assess the demand for digital resources within the play sector and test their effectiveness. Feedback will be sought from users throughout the pilot period to assess impact and identify areas for additional support. Content will continually added to the site based on the feedback from users.
Agile is a social enterprise that specialises in the development of physical activity programmes and associated staff training. Aidan Gallacher, Director at Agile, has worked on the development and implementation of a number of sports, play and youth programmes including: Active Play, Active East, Bowling Out Aids, Education Through CashBack and Shell Twilight Basketball. Aidan has also spent time developing and managing sports related corporate social responsibility programmes for Coca-Cola, Inter Milan, Nokia and Boris Becker. Agile have been investigating and consulting on the potential for digital support tools for several years and led on the development of this collaboration.
Inspiring Scotland is one of the largest venture philanthropy organisations in the world and a registered charity which aims to tackle Scotland’s toughest issues. Inspiring Scotland works closely with the Scottish Government, Local Authorities, lead agencies, schools, community and third sector organisations across a number of funds that support the development of children, young people and communities.
Through their Go2Play fund, Inspiring Scotland support charities to deliver Active Play in communities, primary schools and nurseries with the aim of increasing children’s levels of physical activity and physical literacy. Agile and the University of Strathclyde have been supporting this work with Agile responsible for programme and staff development and the University researching the impact of the programme.
The University of Strathclyde’s Professor John Reilly, from the Physical Activity for Health Group, has expertise in physical activity in childhood and led the UK health departments working group which produced guidance on physical activity in the early years in 2011 (‘Start Active Stay Active’). The University has a commitment to sharing academic knowledge to support progress and impact in various sectors. This Knowledge Exchange is a good example of where academic knowledge and research can be used to support and enhance work going on that has a direct impact on individual lives and society.