The Annual Playwork Awards

and the recipients are…

Why do the Annual Playwork Award exist? These awards set out to celebrate all that is good about the playwork sector. We aim to praise the work we do by identifying people who have made a noticeable contribution and difference to the lives of those they work with.

Play is an important part of children’s lives and that play should be as free from corruption by adults as possible.

Play is essential; it contributes to the cognitive, physical, social and emotional well-being of children and young people as well as serving a crucial evolutionary purpose. There are huge benefits and opportunities for children to engage and explore when playing; however free play has been remarkably reduced for some children. This can be a result of things such as hurried lifestyles and changes in family structure. This lack of free play is something that we as playworkers are trying to prevent and these awards will help to raise the profile of our work and gives us the chance to praise those that have been nominated for an award.

Alongside these awards comes a tremendous sense of pride and recognition for the organisations, people and projects shortlisted and involved. Many people forget about those playworkers that strive day in, day out to in order to offer a broad range of different play opportunities with the aim of enhancing the experiences of the children they work with.

The last two years have seen tremendous upheaval across the sector as we have responded to and been impacted by the Covid-19 in different ways. Some services had to close during lockdown resulting in lost jobs and financial struggles. Other services went into overdrive reaching out beyond their normal remit to continue to bring play opportunities to children with all the resultant stress and anxiety that this caused. Now is the time for healing and recognising the efforts and sacrifices made across the playwork sector.

It is important that we celebrate and reward all playworkers nominated for their never ending commitment and professionalism. Even when times are tough and funds are limited some playworker’s creativity never ceases to amaze those they work with.

These awards are designed to recognise and praise the hard work that the playworkers nominated have put in over the past year in order to get to the point in which they are at today.

The Award sponsors are not involved, in any way, with the process of the Awards they have no say in the Award Criteria or the judging process and, indeed, do not have knowledge of the recipient until it is announced at the Award Ceremony.