Skip to content
Playwork Partnerships

Project Work

Playwork Partnerships have developed a proven track record in the successful management and delivery of externally funded projects internationally, nationally and locally.

Past projects

The ‘PAPPUS’ project

September 2019 – August 2022

Also known as ‘Plants and Play Producing Universal Skills’ takes its name from the Greek word given to a bearded seed in the Dandelion family.

The numbers of children actively engaging with the natural world has been declining for some time. However, there are huge undisputed benefits of being outside in the outdoor world. Scientific studies have shown that contact with nature improves children’s engagement in learning as well as offering increased physical and mental restorative aspects. These benefits also have the potential to reduce early school leaving, which is a recognised problem across the whole of Europe, thereby significantly impacting on a young person’s future life chances.

PAPPUS involved five partner EU countries collaborating together to explore how plants from both the natural and horticultural worlds can be used playfully to connect young people to their outdoor environments. This connection will not only ratchet up their future expectations and long term understanding of the Natural World; but will ultimately develop wider skills and competencies and unlock more of an awareness and understanding of potential linked future career paths.

The initial phase of the project saw partners engage with school teachers and youth group leaders and children in their own countries in order to explore the ‘hooks’ that inspire attention and interest of young people; whilst also unearthing what support teachers and play/youth workers needed in order to use the natural world for their activities more effectively. The initial research revealed valuable evidence from a range of angles and cultural backgrounds that gave fruit to the project toolkit development – a toolkit of ideas to support teachers and youth workers in engaging children with plants in a more playful way. This toolkit is now a freely accessible Toolkit for all who wish to use it in their work.

The final development phase of the project was the creation of a PAPPUS training course which embedded the PAPPUS 15 Playful Plants. This course is now available to anyone who wishes to gain CPD either via a face-to-face course or self directed training course.

Find out more

Paclife Project

January 2020 – June 2022

Physical and Cultural Activities for Life Skill Development (PAClife) is a project funded by Erasmus+ designed to supporting young migrants and young people facing disadvantage to develop increase resilience through sport and cultural activities.

The project, led by The University of Gloucestershire joined 6 partners from across the EU (Play Gloucestershire, Rogers Foundation- Hungary, KMOP- Greece, CESIE- Italy and Action Aid in Denmark) who collaborated to enhance the lives of young people, refugees or looked after young people.

PAClife created opportunities for young people to connect, participate, meet others and feel empowered doing so. Nurturing children’s individual strengths to create a positive future will help in creating vibrant and positive communities for all. The project supported this by developing a training manual for practitioners working with young people to engage and support opportunities that build space for enjoyment, reflection and shape personal development.

Find out more

‘Children’s Access to Play in Schools’ (CAPS)

September 2017 – August 2020

Playwork Partnerships are pleased to announce that we have successfully concluded our 3 year, ERASMUS funded ‘Children’s Access to Play in Schools’ (CAPS) project. We have worked closely our European Partners, Wendy Russell and with Michael Follett of the Outdoor Play and Learning (OPAL) company!

You can access free resources about how you can make your school more Play Friendly including the Quality Criteria, handbook and course using the link below.

Find out more

Achieving Resilience through Play and Drama (ARTPAD)

2016 – 2019

ARTPAD supported the engagement of children and young people from disadvantaged backgrounds in formal and non–formal education to help prevent early school leaving exploring 3 complimentary aspects:

  1. Understanding resilience and children’s development and behaviour through play
  2. Drama techniques for engagement with learning
  3. Drama and Play to build social understanding and behaviour

As a result of a thorough research phase, partners developed a best practice guide for leaders of settings and the ARTPAD course. Free resources are available on the project website using the link below.

Find out more

Volunteers in Playwork – Employment Routes (ViPER)

2013 – 2015

Through collaboration, a partnership of 6 countries will incorporated EU best practice to support children’s play across Europe and transferred this training programme and volunteering model to become an EU recognised training course.

Find out more

Get Involved in Play

2011 – 2013

A partnership of 17 organisations within the Free Time Consortium worked together to create 1.2 million play opportunities, over 47,000 volunteers were recruited, 370,000 people had supported and heard about the programme and an estimated £3.5 million created in equivalent childcare costs. 

Play Shaper

2009 – 2011

A partnership project (Play England, SkillsActive and Playwork Partnerships) that aimed to design, develop, pilot and roll out a training programme for professionals who are involved in planning, designing, building, managing and maintaining public space and those who deliver children’s services, including play provision. (£1.4 million DfCSF/DoE)

Playwork Leadership and Management in Integrated Services

2009 – 2011

Part of a national project to deliver level 6 leadership and management training to the playwork sector. (£60,000 CWDC)

Outdoor Learning Environment (OLE)

2007 – 2009

A project that monitored and evaluated how learners used and interacted with the outdoor space at Oxstalls Campus, and how it affects their learning. (£10,000 CeAL)


2004 – 2007

Supported the people of Wales to develop a dynamic, responsive and sustainable childcare sector. (£3 million ESF)

Wild about Play


Developed opportunities for children to play in and around natural environments (£60,000 Better Play and NOF)

EQUIPE Project

2001 – 2005

A national partnership project to support childcare based social enterprises (£4 million ESF)

Pilot Project

2000 – 2001

This project tested out and developed distance learning materials for playworkers at a variety of levels (£800,000 ESF)

Palm I & II Projects

1998 – 2000

Developed distance learning materials and courses to train playworkers in management (£330,000 ESF)

Pleiad Project

1997 – 2000

This, the largest ever playwork training project in the south west, was delivered in eight counties and 8,213 playworkers benefited from a variety of training courses (£6 million ESF)

Eurochild Project

1995 – 1997

Provided training in playwork at a variety of levels to 735 women-returners, (£350,000 ESF)

Get in touch to find out more about our past projects or to collaborate with us on future projects.