HPA wins national award for inspirational playwork training


HPA staff at Homerton Grove Adventure Playground

Hackney Play Association staff at Homerton Grove Adventure Playground

Hackney Play Association (HPA) has won the Training Provider of the Year Award at the National Playwork Conference 2015.

The East London-based charity provides training and professional development opportunities for people who support children’s play, including playworkers, children’s centre staff, youth workers, play service managers, mealtime supervisors, play development workers, young people and carers.

In addition to its training courses, HPA supports thousands of children to play every year and runs several popular play services. These include Homerton Grove Adventure Playground, Clapton Park Play and Youth Project, and Inclusive Play sessions. We also support residents wanting to open up their streets for play through the groundbreaking Hackney Play Streets project.

Bridget Handscomb, HPA Play Development and Training Manager, who accepted the award on behalf of the team at the conference, said:

“Our starting point is to put children and the importance of play at the centre of all our courses – whilst making sessions as fluid and interactive as possible. We always emphasise there is no blueprint for playwork; as trainers we’re reflecting and learning from our students as much as they learn from us! We’re all incredibly chuffed here at Hackney Play Association that our approach has been recognised and applauded.”

As winner of the award, HPA is recognised as a training provider, which “motivates, enthuses and inspires learners so that they become ‘better’ playworkers.” HPA was nominated on the grounds that:

  • All training is designed with the playing child at its centre and reflects the ethos of the playwork principles. The importance of play for children’s happiness, health and development underpins course content and delivery.
  • Courses are highly interactive – using exercises, discussions, practical tasks, group work, time for reflection and feedback.
  • The training team does not only train to the minimum assessment requirements, but also offer a wider education that encourages a deeper and more complex understanding of play and playwork.
  • As experienced playwork professionals, still immersed in playwork practice, the trainers demonstrate commitment to their own lifelong learning through continued study and ongoing playwork practice.
  • HPA consistently seeks out play partnerships and research opportunities – bringing new ideas and approaches from a diverse community of practice – which in turn feeds straight into the training process. For example through engaging learners with research projects and enabling access to leading playwork theorists.

Current playwork courses on offer include The CACHE Level 2 and 3 in Playwork (Award, Certificate and Diploma) and Pathways in Playwork, an introductory course to playwork at Level 2.

For more information on our courses, please contact Bridget Handscomb, Play Development & Training Manager, bridget.handscomb@hackneyplay.org and Tel. 020 8525 7932. Go to http://www.hackneyplay.org/playworkandtraining


Photo caption: Hackney Play Association staff pictured at Homerton Grove Adventure Playground. L-R: Polly Strettell; Frank Leon; Sarah Wilson; Liam Guifo; Bridget Handscomb; Claudia Joseph; Janine Brady and John Fitzpatrick



Posted in Hackney Play