Council launches city’s play policy with fun day at Westburn Park

Aberdeen City Council’s Play Policy and Strategy was officially launched today (Thursday 21 June) with a ‘Play for Today’ fun day for youngsters at the city’s Westburn Park.

The launch included a tour of the park and a variety of play activities for pupils from local schools to celebrate not only the launch but also the longest day of the year.

The new City Play Policy and Strategy was approved by councillors in January and saw Aberdeen City Council renew its commitment to support the right of all children and young people in Aberdeen to play regardless of their needs, background or abilities – underlined by a multi-million investment over the past five years.

Councillor John Wheeler, Convener of Education Operational Delivery, launched the policy at today’s special event. He said: “It’s really wonderful to be here today not only to launch our city-wide policy but to see it in action with children having so much fun in the park.

“Our updated policy comes at a time when we have committed £100,000 to our Year of Young People celebrations which sees young individuals and youth organisations in the city delivering a range of fantastic cultural projects.”

“As many people will know, we are well on our way to becoming a Unicef Child Friendly City the new play policy is a lynchpin in achieving that hugely important ambition for our children and young people.

“We want our children to be able to play and express themselves in the safest and best environment possible and that is why we are here today.”

“The investment the Council makes in play facilities is vital but is just part of a far wider picture in which support and providing opportunities for children from all of our communities are helping young people to thrive. We’re committed to continuing that work.

Since 2013 £3.3million has been invested in the refurbishment and redevelopment of 101 city play areas and resulted in Aberdeen being commended as a City of Play by the Care Inspectorate in 2015.

Also taking part in the day’s fun were the city’s Imagineers who facilitated some game playing for children and adults as well as sharing their new artzine illustrating their experience and ideas on the risks, challenges and adventures of playing.

The Imagineers ideas and positive play messages were also on show to the public during last week’s Look Again Festival.

The day’s proceedings also featured pupils from Cornhill School kicking off their 24 Hour Glitter Pick as part of the Clean Up Aberdeen Initiative.

The photograph shows Council Co Leader Jenny Laing with Educational Operational Delivery Convener, Councillor John Wheeler and children from Skene Square Primary School at today's launch.