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Case study- PEEK - Inspiring Scotland

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Case study- PEEK

This case study was created to showcase how an organisation has used Scotland’s Play Ranger Toolkit successfully and how the key learning from the toolkit has been embedded into their day to day services. We sat down with PEEK to hear more about how they have used the toolkit and some of the successes and challenges along the way.

PEEK (Possibility for Each and Every kid) is a community led organisation based in the East End of Glasgow developing children, young people and their families through free play, creative arts, and physical activity. PEEK’s Play rangers deliver and facilitate 12 play sessions across 10 communities around Glasgow, with the aim for children and young people to reclaim spaces and feel more included in their community.  

PEEK will always work to meet the needs of the community, and this is helped by having sessions that are child led and having a family approach to the sessions has helped us meet the needs of the community. We work on the belief that young people and children are the experts in play so maintaining a child centred perspective approach is paramount in achieving this.  

Can you describe some of the highlights and benefits of using the Play Ranger Model ?

Highlights of the play ranger model is that we have seen it shift towards a whole family approach to play and more and more adults are attending, this has had a huge impact on breaking down barriers and making sure children and young people are having that time to help them develop. 

More and more children are outside playing! Numbers are at the highest it has ever been. With some seeing an average of 50 kids at a session.  

The ‘Community feel’ to sessions, parents commenting has also been lovely to see.  

“It’s like when I was a wean, children off playing having a great time whilst the families chat and catch up and everyone looking out for each other.”- Parent 

 We have seen an increase in families attending more than just the session in their community and this is having huge impact on the children’s wellbeing and creating new friendships. Having a provision where families and children are attending multiple sessions has been mainly due to the staff and child relationships and the level of provision during sessions.  

“This is our 3rd session this week, the kids just love it! They have made so many friends from different areas” -Parent  

‘IT’S FREE’ this is huge benefit for the families, and it is being delivered in the hearts of the communities. It is open access, so children are free to come and go as they please. 

After families feeling so isolated for so long, we are noticing a huge increase in adults also attending our sessions meaning families all get the chance to socialise and play together. One parent commented on how his grandma had enjoyed a session she had attended, 

“It was the best day I have had in years, just getting to see my 2 grandkids and 5 great grandkids today just playing away. If I wasn’t here today, I would just be sat in the house, as I don’t get out as much anymore.” – Grandparent 

 Why does the play ranger model work for your organisation?  

The play ranger model has worked so well for PEEK as it has been a great for getting more children outside playing and being active. This has been especially useful when sessions resumed after COVID restrictions as some kids hadn’t been outside for a long period of time as parks where padlocked shut. It also fits in closely to PEEK’s mission and values. 

Whist having the play ranger model working so well it has bought other successes into the organisation. Having this model has allowed us to build great relationships with families and it has benefitted ourselves as we adopted a holistic approach which allows us to have all the family involved from child to grandparent. This has allowed us to make sure that if families are needing support the right support can be provided and this has resulted in PEEK having strong relationships with the whole family instead of just the child. 

The team work tirelessly to make sure every session is fun and inclusive which has enabled us to provide a consistent all year round play provision even through the cold, wet, dark evenings.  

What were some of the challenges you faced using the the play ranger model, and how did you mitigate these? 

  • Weather – the hot weather we have faced this year has made it a little unsafe to be playing outside for long period of times. To make sure the sessions were able to go ahead, we made sure we followed the subsequent steps – always ensuring that we checked the weather forecast, provided sun cream, worked in shade were possible and made sure everyone was hydrated by bringing along water. 
  • Cotton wool culture. Some parents are concerned for their children’s wellbeing, and this means kids aren’t having the time to learn from experience which is key for their development. Some ways in which we have overcome this is by having conversations with other organisations, parents/carers, schools, adults and delivering play training to the groups listed and this is a great way to showcase how play benefits lives.  
  • Play not always being valued in communities by local community members. To help mitigate this we have created a children’s and youth community council to help tackle issues in local communities.  
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