PLAY needs to be taken seriously, the Northern Ireland Commissioner for Children and Young People, Patricia Lewsley said today.
The Commissioner, who is chairing Playboard and the National Children’s Bureau (NCB) Play Summit, urged all levels of Government to make sure that they make sure they meet children’s needs.
“More than a year and a half ago Government pledged to produced play and leisure policies for children and for young people,” said Ms Lewsley. “Also, there are too many organisations such as local councils who do not take play seriously enough.
“Play is a vital part of children’s development, contributing to growing social and educational skills, and has benefits in terms of improved physical development, such as reducing the risk of obesity and improving mental health.
The Commissioner said today’s Play Summit marked an important step in pressing for play policy to be brought higher up the Government agenda.
“Safe, engaging and appropriate facilities must be designed, taking into account the views and experiences of young people themselves, not just handed down from on high,” she said. “Appropriate play policy from Government, as well as local authority action, can provide the framework for these facilities to be developed.
“I hope that as a result of today’s summit Government will make a positive response and build upon the work my office, Playboard, NCB and many others have already undertaken.
Notes for Editors
You can read NICCY’s press release on its March 2006 Play Conference at here. Links are on the same page to keynote speeches on Play.
You can read about Playboard’s work on their website