Aberdeen City Council’s Strategic Commissioning Committee agreed yesterday (Thursday 30 January) to give a one-year contract to leading Scottish children’s charity Aberlour, to continue providing a Play Development Team to lead and deliver on the priorities outlined in the Aberdeen City Play Policy and Strategy.
The Aberdeen City Play Policy and Strategy, approved by the council in January 2018, makes a commitment to support all the city’s children and young people’s right to play regardless of their needs, background or abilities.
It acknowledges the significance of children’s rights in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), which was approved by the UK Government in December 1991 and adopted by Aberdeen City Council in 1996.
Aberlour hosts the Aberdeen Play Forum which is the multi-agency group for leading and delivering on the 2018 Policy and Strategy 2018.
The focus of the Play Development Team is to support the aim for Aberdeen to be a City of Play and be a UNICEF Accredited Child Friendly City.
The Aberdeen City Play Policy and Strategy is underpinned by a 3 Year Delivery Plan from 01 April 2018 to 31 March 2021. The Delivery Plan follows a thematic approach, linked to the National Play Strategy for Scotland, to identifying the priorities and actions to be delivered in: Play at Home, Play in Early Learning and Childcare, Play in the Community and Positive Support for Play.
Success to date has included:
- Working with schools to engage with parents to share key messages around play.
- Outdoor play training to school staff.
- Woodland Explorers programme – a respite summer playscheme for children additional support needs.
- Play sessions delivered at Clinterty Gypsy / Traveller site.
- Continue to promote the removal of the No all Games signs.
- 35 free school holiday play sessions to 1705 children.
- Promote play at assembly talks at schools.
- Play in the Dark session saw children play outside when they would normally be indoors.
Aberlour also employs the Play Development Team and has the knowledge, experience and staff expertise required to continue to deliver this valued service as well as supporting Child Friendly City ambitions through play programmes.
The Delivery Plan which underpins the Play Policy finishes on 31 March 2021 and this one-year contract will enable a review to be carried out to determine future procurement requirements for supporting the City’s ambition to be a UNICEF Accredited Child Friendly City.
Aberdeen City Council has successfully worked in partnership with Aberlour for more than 20 years since the inception of the Childcare Strategy.
The contract funding to Aberlour to host Aberdeen Play Forum and employ the Play Development Team will enable the City Council to continue to lead and deliver on priorities outlined in the 2018 Policy and Strategy.
Councillor Jenny Laing, Co-Leader of Aberdeen City Council and convener of Strategic Commissioning Committee said: “This contract enables Aberlour to continue to host our Play Forum and employ the Play Development Team which in turn means the City Council can continue to lead and deliver on priorities outlined in the Policy and Strategy 2018.
“These priorities are shared by our partners in the Community Planning Aberdeen partnership and are aligned to the Local Outcomes Improvement Plan (LOIP) objectives and our shared vision that all children will have the best start in life, be healthy and active, respected and included.
“Children’s rights are central to this Council’s ongoing commitment to promote and uphold the United Nations Convention for the Rights of Children and our work towards UNICEF Accredited Child Friendly City status.”