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Mapping outdoor play in Scotland - Inspiring Scotland

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Mapping outdoor play in Scotland

Thrive Outdoors is mapping the outdoor play sector in Scotland, aiming to find out where outdoor play is happening, how outdoor play organisations are run and the challenges these organisations face.

Extensive research highlights the social, physical and emotional benefits of outdoor play for children and young people. But the Covid-19 pandemic has meant more children missing out on opportunities to get these benefits from playing outdoors. Therefore, it is more crucial than ever that children and young people in Scotland are able to access and be involved in outdoor play so that they can learn, play and thrive outdoors.

Whilst the benefits of outdoor play are well documented, there is a  gap in research on the broader outdoor play sector. Our survey aims to broaden our understanding of the sector and its reach, while also uncovering the challenges faced, including where children and young people have difficulties accessing outdoor play, as well as age-ranges that may be underserved. We hope that this survey will give us a broader picture of these and other challenges faced by outdoor play organisations, so that we are better positioned to understand the current needs of the sector and where we can improve our support.

The survey is aimed at not-for-profit organisations delivering outdoor play within the community. Although we recognise the benefits and successes of outdoor play provision in statutory services such as nurseries and schools, and the wider childcare sector including childminders, the challenges these groups face are more well-documented and there are already registers which can be used to find these organisations. Instead we are reaching out to organisations that are non-Care Inspectorate registered so that their voices can be heard.

Keen to support our work? Complete the survey by 5pm Friday 27 May.

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