Training at PlayWorks 

Play Training was a huge part of what PlayWorks offered to the Nottingham Play Community. Their regular ‘Play for All’ programme provided practical ideas for volunteers and staff that encouraged a wide involvement. A Play Training group was set up to help ensure the training met the needs of the sector. Training was delivered in a way that brought people together and increased capacity. The content was forward thinking and focused on equality with themes and events such as ‘Playing around the World’ and Festival training delivered with a playful approach, such as an airport lounge for attendees before experiencing a rich experience from a variety of cultures, working alongside Nottingham’s different communities to deliver authentic fun ideas. Planning for playschemes and ‘Street Play’ training were often delivered within local communities. In the 1980’s and 90’s there were community playschemes across the city. Nottingham Play Forum was central to skilling up and enthusing people to get involved in delivering play within their local community by sharing simple playful approaches they could then pass on to others. We have included some of the resources from a variety of training events in our document library. 

When the play sector became more regulated and there was a need for qualifications to professionalise the workforce, PlayWorks delivered a range of courses, from the original EMFEC Introduction to Playwork course to Take 5 for Play and the Playwork NVQ, with a pathway from volunteer to paid Playworker and beyond. Playworks was also host to other training providers and organisations, hiring out the big hall for training and meetings. 

PlayWorks Information Project  

One regular feature from PlayWorks was their ‘Play News’ newsletters, which shared news and good practice with the sector, spreading the mantra of children’s right to play and keeping Nottingham informed of local developments. Play News featured funding and training opportunities and full to the brim with creative ideas for playschemes. An essential means of communication in the days before websites and social media became commonplace, these informative leaflets connected the play community across Nottingham and beyond. The earliest newsletter we could find was from 1985, with regular editions published at least quarterly until the 2010’s when updates were moved online. We have included a selection of these for you to read about the Nottingham Play Community’s achievements over the years. The Information Project also featured a resource library with friendly advice, and  hosted the Play Action Network, which worked with partners within the voluntary sector and Nottingham City Council to campaign and make positive change for children, even creating their own board game ‘PANopoly’ to help spread the word!