Play rangers across the country will encourage kids to get out more
Nine charities across Scotland are to host new play rangers to help more children in disadvantaged communities benefit from outdoor play.
The charities will work in partnership to bring the rangers to communities in Edinburgh, Glasgow, South Ayrshire and for the first time ever, to the streets and parks of Dundee and Midlothian.
Play Rangers provide children opportunities to access free play provision within their local community - on the streets, in local parks or woodland.
They encourage children to attend the free open access sessions and increase parent’s confidence in letting their children play outside.
The Play Rangers programme is being backed by Inspiring Scotland the Scottish Government via a new Play Ranger focused Fund.
Too many children in Scotland have been deprived of the opportunity to play - Celia Tenant
Fiona McLeod, acting minister for children and young people, said: “Play is a great way of helping children stay healthy and active but also helping them to develop their skills and build strong friendships.
"I’m pleased that the Scottish Government works with Inspiring Scotland and other partners to increase play opportunities for children across Scotland, and we can support this exciting expansion of the Play Ranger programme.”
Speaking about the role of the fund, Celia Tennant, chief executive of Inspiring Scotland, said: “Sadly too many children in Scotland have been deprived of the opportunity to play as part of their childhood which we know negatively impacts on their development.
“We have developed significant insight and expertise in the play ranger model and will support this new portfolio as part of our roll out of the model nationally, upscaling activity and knowledge across Scotland.
"The new portfolio will receive a package of support including funding, training, individual tailored support and opportunities to share learning and best practice across a really collaborative group of partners.”
As well as extending Play Rangers across Scotland, the new fund has innovation at its core, testing new collaborative delivery models between voluntary and public sector; supporting children with additional support needs in a community setting and using play as a means of easing community integration in diverse ethnically mixed settings.
The successful Play Ranger Projects are: Dundee Play Ranger collaboration – Aberlour Childcare Trust (lead partner) alongside Leisure and Culture Dundee; Glasgow, Govanhill Play – The Jeely Piece Club and Crossreach Daisychain; Edinburgh Play Ranger Collaborative – Smart Play Network, Canongate Youth Project, North Edinburgh Arts and Edinburgh Leisure; South Ayrshire – Aberlour Childcare Trust; and Midlothian – Midlothian Association of Play.