The Annual Playwork Awards

Welcome to the overhauled Annual Playwork Awards for 2023!!

The group of Awards organisers (convenors) has been working hard over the last 6 months to look at ways to improve the Awards process over the coming years.

We have set some priorities for 2023 of things that were particularly important based on feedback from the sector:

  • To increase recognition of the importance of work around diversity and inclusion
  • To make the nomination process more straightforward to encourage more nominations
  • To have a better representation of the range of places where playwork takes place across the UK

To nominate you can fill out our nomination form which simply asks:

  • Who you are nominating
  • Which award you are nominating them for
  • Why you are nominating (briefly)

Our Awards convenors will then make contact with the nominees to find out more and to gather more evidence about what makes them so brilliant. Once we have a shortlist we will also be conducting interviews with the top nominees so they can speak to us directly about their work.

We have two new Awards for 2023 – the Altogether Different Award and the Play and Community Development Award.

We recognise the need to continually reflect and make improvements, so this is a process of refining the Awards process to make it fairer and more inclusive. There are other things on our radar for future years including, being inclusive of international playworkers and projects, refreshing the Awards evening and improving the online presence.

For now, we hope the sector will back these improvements to the Annual Playwork Awards and get nominating on behalf of the amazing playwork practice that is happening all over the UK!

Nominations are open until 30 November 2022.


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.

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.

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