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Archive for the ‘Inclusive Play News’ Category

Inclusive Play Conference 2017

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On July 4th 2017 we hosted our first Inclusive Play Conference at Chelmsford Hylands Estate. We welcomed a diverse group of delegates to our conference: Park Project Officers, Landscape Designers, Parents, Carers, and representatives from Local Authorities, Friends Groups and Support Groups.

Our objectives for the day were to share understanding about what “inclusive” really means and how to achieve inclusivity, introduce our delegates to PiPA, look at play spaces from a landscape architects point of view and most importantly, take time to listen and learn from families and carers’ perspectives on their lives caring for children with additional support needs.

We were thrilled to have a number of guest speakers at the conference including Michael Hoenigmann, Director of Jupiter Play, Rachel Carvoso, from Sunshine Centre and Inclusive Play staff.

Jayne Pullen from Liz Lake Associates, recently wrote a blog reflecting on her time with us concluding that, “the conference really highlighted the responsibility we have as landscape architects to help champion the ethos that truly accessible and inclusive play areas become the norm.” You can read Jayne’s full blog on the Liz Lake website, here.

Having talked all things inclusive throughout the day it seemed fitting that we wrapped up our conference with a tour (and play!) of theDestination PiPA play area at the Hylands Estate.

If you’d like to receive updates on our future events or conferences please email: to register your interest.”

First Scottish Destination PiPA Awarded At Drumpellier

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Inclusive Play are delighted to award Drumpellier Country Park play area with PiPA status, making this site the first Scottish play area to be awarded as a Destination PiPA.

“The Crannog” play area at Drumpellier Country Park was opened to the public in June 2017. The play area is themed around an iron-age “crannog”, a traditional dwelling house constructed on stilts over water. This bespoke inclusive structure was designed by Jupiter Play and produced by their partners at FHS. Funding for this project was provided by the Heritage Lottery Fund, CultureNL, WREN and North Lanarkshire Council.

The entire unit can accommodate wheelchair usage and the main entrance walkway, outer platforms and inner ’roundhouse’ are also fully accessible. Other key inclusive features are: AudioNetic sound makers, musical features, tactile carvings, pendulum swing with basket and low lying nets with mirrored ceiling. The key design consideration was to capture all aesthetic elements of a Crannog whilst including progressive play, sensory elements, risk and continued challenge for children at all levels of their development. No child is left behind as there is an access route for every ability; once a child feels some self-assurance, they can try out tougher routes. There are a wide variety of options to choose from in deciding how to access, move around and exit the play structure. The layout encourages children to practice making choices and exercise cognitive function experiencing the consequences of those choices in a safe and secure setting.

Joanne Talbot, Business Manager of Inclusive Play said, “it has been a great experience working in partnership with Culture NL and the Jupiter Play design team to create such a special location. As this is the first Destination PiPA site in Scotland it is really a testament to everyone’s hard work and dedication to achieving a fully inclusive play space. The Crannog at Drumpellier Park is the true meaning of inclusion.”

If you’d like to find out more information about PiPA or view other PiPA awarded play areas across the UK, click here to look at our PiPA Map.

Watch Hawthorn Heights Ltd drone view video from The Crannog opening day in June, below.


PiPA Debate in Scottish Parliament

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For anyone who hasn’t heard of our PiPA toolkit, this may well change as we continue to campaign and champion for it at Scottish Parliamentary level.

We began discussing PiPA with Linda Fabiani MSP back in 2014 when a group of parents were frustrated by the lack of inclusive provision in their area. This is not an unusual scenario and Inclusive Play were highly aware that the understanding around disability and inclusivity was low with regards to the play environment. This led to the development of the PiPA (Plan Inclusive Play Areas) project with KIDS the Disabled Children’s Charity and Occupational Therapist Amy Wagenfield.

This working group created a toolkit to harness the expert knowledge of the team and the industry to help support anyone designing or wanting to campaign for inclusive play areas by providing qualitative and quantittaive evidence on how to shape better rounded play spaces.

PiPA has already been picked up by Accessible Britain Challenge, KIDS, London Play to name a few, and this week we went back into parliament to speak to MSP’s on how this can be embedded further in Scotland’s Play Charter and policy. Watch this space….

PiPA in Scottish ParliamentPictured above are Paul Hoenigmann and Joanne Talbot, of Inclusive Play

Good Design Starts with Consultation

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An essential part of the work Inclusive Play carry out is to work extensively with our end users. We must understand the needs of all children and how we can ensure all children can access the play activities we offer.

We were delighted to host a consultation event on 21st April 2016 inviting the students from St Nicholas School and the linked community college to gain their ideas, observe how they interacted with the play items on offer and most importantly let them be part of the brand new inclusive play multiplay unit development  – the Omnibus. This is a completely inclusive unit designed to be accessible, yet still challenging for the children who need that play value, and offers complete sensory engagement and the children and young people loved it!

Omnibus Multiplay Inclusive Play

This type of engagement is a great way for us to sense check that our designs match the need of the people we are designing for. It also gives us clues into other elements we may not have thought about or need to develop further. We are pleased to say though that the Omnibus got the thumbs up and the children will get to have a go on at their own playground in the new School term in September.

If you would like more information about multiplay units available from Inclusive Play please contact

Inclusive Play Talk to BBC On Lack of Inclusive Play Areas in UK

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Lord Blunkett unveiled a report by the charity Sense that disabled children are being failed at every level to access opportunities to play.

A range of reasons have been cited; a lack of focus by the Government, insufficient funding and negative attitudes by parents, all contribute to major barriers for disabled children accessing play like any other child.

Meghan Kemp, General Manager from Inclusive Play was invited to a live debate on BBC Radio London Drivetime alongside Lord Blunkett and Lesley Rogers who chaired the inquiry by charity Sense.

Meghan described her own personal experiences at public play spaces with her brother who has Down syndrome, and how negative reactions, often from parents, can really inhibit families from accessing the little provision that is available.

Passionate to make a change and highlight the need for all children to play, Inclusive Play developed PiPA (Plan Inclusive Play Areas) a tool that assists any play provider to understand how to design for a range of disabilities.

‘We need to see more adoption of this tool and a commitment to inclusive design. Every child deserves the right to reach their full potential and play is a massive part of that.’ says Meghan. For more information on PiPA visit

Inclusive Play Sign Sol Joel

See us at tesSEN Show 2015!

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Inclusive Play are delighted to be exhibiting at one of the main events for the SEN sector and showcasing what we do, who we are and why we are really quite unique in the outdoor play sector.

Having tirelessly campaigned for better outdoor inclusive facilities for many years and launching PiPA (Plan Inclusive Play Areas Tool) to help navigate the minefield that is outdoor inclusive design; it is with great pleasure that we will be at the tesSEN show to chat to visitors, showcase products but also use it as a great opportunity to increase our learning, what can we develop for the future so th every child has the same opportunity for play outdoors.

This is the event of the year for school leaders, teachers, support staff, parents and carers with an interest in SEN. Discover new opportunities and benefit from a wealth of expertise at TES SEN 2015.

We would love to see you so be sure to register your interest and come down to the Business Design Center in London 9th-10th October, we’ll be on Stand 153. See you there!

Register Here

Inclusive Play Music Ball TESSEN


PiPA in Politics

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Every local authority across the country manage and own a portfolio of community playgrounds, yet there is no structure in place that ensures a proportion of these are truly inclusive. In a bid to change this Inclusive Play has been working tirelessly with a number of great organisations and individuals to create PiPA (Plan Inclusive Play Areas) to make the process of designing inclusive play areas much easier.

General Manager, Kristina Hinks, met with Linda Fabiani MSP at Scottish Parliament to campaign for this to be a requirement of Local Authorities in Scotland. Linda Fabiani is backing a campaign led by families of disabled children for better inclusive play facilities in East Kilbride and has been a real supporter of the PiPA tool.

The next step is to take PiPA to the Children’s Minister and see how we can start to make change and inform new policy for better access to community facilities for children with disabilities and special needs. Watch this space!

The First PiPA Designed Inclusive Playground

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Earley Town Council are close to completion of the UK’s very first designed from scratch PiPA Inclusive Playground at Sol Joel. The park is designed to be fully inclusive for all children and will engage youngsters with special needs and disabilities.

Earley Town Council, together with the support of Wokingham Borough Council, have been busy consulting with representatives of Reach Wokingham, Peapods and the Special Educational Needs Department at Earley St. Peter’s School (the School backs on to the Park).

It was increasingly apparent that the region is without a choice of free inclusive play area facilities, a fact that is backed up by KIDS the Disabled Children’s Charity who have found less than 47% of play spaces are accessible across the UK.

To remedy that Earley Town Council worked with the Inclusive Play’s PiPA (Plan Inclusive Play Areas) tool to create a fantastic multi-sensory project designed together with Jupiter Play and Inclusive Play.

The play area will be open in time for the school summer holidays 2015.


Develop literacy skills with Audionetic & Clickety

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Literacy continues to be an area that many people of all ages struggle with; The World Literacy Foundation found that 1 in 5 of the UK population continue to struggle with basic levels of reading. Typical information points found in tourist spots or public spaces are often rendered useless or can become embarrassing for parents who are unable to read complex information or stories.

Inclusive Play are proud to work with the most innovative partners. The latest content for the Audionetic interactive audio range are the Clickety stories. Clickety Books is a children’s publishers that develops engaging books and resources with a unique twist; they work with experienced speech and language therapists to design stories that help to develop speech and language skills.

Founded on the principles of Auditory Input Therapy, these stories contain lots of rhythm, rhyme and repetition. This forms the foundation for clearer speech, greater confidence in talking and supports work on individual sound identification that is necessary for early literacy development.

All the stories have been narrated by some well-loved British comedians; Rik Mayall, Catherine Tate and Ronni Ancona and for a school or club setting can also be accompanied by the beautifully illustrated books. Working with well-known voices creates a connection with adults who can enjoy the humour of the stories and for children… well; it’s just a platform for their imagination!

Up on the roof

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When space becomes an issue, why not take your project to the roof? This is what the team at Educarium in Poland decided to do when working with Bydgoszcz main hospital, Bydgoszcz.

The Inclusive Play Orbs and Mezzo are featured as part of a sensory and ground game trail that also provides a more playful view for the patients staying at the hospital.

Offering playful respite is a great to unwind for patients of any age and Inclusive Play are often engaged with many medical and respite centers to create uplifting playful and therapeutic environments.

Want to know more? Contact us on 0131 2141023 or now.