Fair Play for Children

for the Child's Right to Play

including Fair Play for Children News

Fair Play for Children Association is a Voluntary non-profit Organisation controlled by its Members, membership is FREE,  donations ALWAYS welcome

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ABOUT FAIR PLAY FOR CHILDREN - What we want - read here

Fair Play 50

Fifty years ago on 3st July 1972, a letter appeared in 'The Times' in the wake of a tragedy - two boys aged nine drowned playing in a tin bath in an East End Canal in London .... for want of somewhere safe to play.

That event led Bishop Trevor Huddleston CR, then Bishop of Stepney, to pen an angry reproach in the press, he had known both boys and their families.   It was not right, he insisted, that such a deficit should have led to their deaths.

With the same zeal that marked his defiance of apartheid in his native South Africa (from which he had been exiled for his views). Father Trevor launched this campaign, soon supported by The Duke of Edinburgh, it was, and is, known as Fair Play for Children.

Its mission is to achieve that safe, but challenging, play space for every child, as now stated in Article 31 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

At Fair Play 50, how do we measure progress towards that aim?   Though much has been achieved, overall can we say that there has been much movement?    Yes, the community and voluntary sector in the UK has led the way, against huge odds mainly thrown in their way by the statutory sector.   Oh, plenty of platitudes, 'nice thoughts', but when we examine the record of government at all levels, it has been a sad tale of non-achievement, even of hindrance.   

To be blunt, always the first target for cuts especially by councils, often running counter to their statutory obligations, which goes mainly unchallenged from society.   Fair Play has been and is running a campaign on this aspect, to get the law updated so that councils are held to account by the Government.   Frankly, one feels that, too often, the national voluntary sector has been more intent to navel-gaze, talking up convincing the powers-that-be that Play is special, and also that it's all about improving the status of playworkers.

Look, MPs and Ministers, local government chiefs, councillors etc all KNOW the importance of Play, or they pay it enough lip service that, were that translated into action and resource, we'd by now have a Play-scape for Heaven on earth.

At this time, so much has been lost, trashed by cuts, our children and young people have been betrayed.

Not very celebratory?    Well, what is stated does not diminish one jot the years of hard work and dedication people and organisations have contributed and continue to do so, Fair Play 50 is dedicated to making sure they have first call - just consider how much money would be saved, for example, if Councillors across the country gave up their allowances  ....   At a very rough guess, that would free up over £80 million a year.    After all, they stand voluntarily for office, they can receive out-of-pocket expenses, but why should they also have an allowance on top of that just for being a councillor?

One challenge if you are such a councillor - relinquish your annual allowance and ask your council that it be diverted to children's play and youth work in your area!   I did it when I was a councillor, you can too!

During the year ahead, FP50 will be aiming to secure legislative changes through dialogue with the Government.   You can help by aiming letters at the your MPs to get their support.   Keep in touch via our website 

This is my thirty-first year as National Secretary of Fair Play for Children.   I urge you to redouble the fight for a Fair Deal for Children's Play.   Join Fair Play, DONATE, campaign with us!

Yours Playfully



National Secretary (Proud to be)

Fair Play for Children News

The World's Children - their lives, their futures, the World at Play.                       One of the best sources for news about Play and Childhood. 

There are few, if any, publications anywhere about children and childhood, that match the breadth of FPfC News, sourced from many parts of the world, - major global news sources, research facilities, the UN and its family, community organisations and more.   FPfC News focuses on all areas of childhood, but especially Play because we believe that Play is the path to the fullest development of the child.    We are proud of this contribution to knowledge about Childhood and the world of Children and their Play.   If you have stories etc you wish to submit or let us know about, contact fpfc1972@gmail.com

photo: courtesy of The Guardian 2022

Children's Play & Youth Work

including Children's Play, Sport, Arts, Recreation, Cultural, Music, Youth Clubs, Youth Work

Children in the World & Society

including Children and Young People in Society, Children's Rights, Juvenile Justice, Child Slavery and Labour, Child Soldiers

Child Health Wellbeing & Education

including Children's Health and Wellbeing, Education, Early Years Development, Child Care

Child Legal & Research

including Children and the Law, Court Judgments, + Medical Paediatric and Other Research

 The Child's Right to Play  -  The Reasons Why

Why does the world's  most successful Treaty, the UN Convention on the Rights of The Child, include the Right to Play?   Why is so much emphasis given by educators, doctors, researchers etc to this?  

Play is as old as humanity, back over 3.7 million years ago our distant ancestors walked in Tanzania, there is a child walking beside an adult, no doubt curious and anxious to play ....

It is because for the Child, its Play may be 'messing about', Fun. seemingly aimless, something every child does without thinking whether it has to or not, but it is also just about the most important thing it does.  

Play is about Learning, about trial and error, about discovery, about relationships, indeed about exploring the world around it.   Not for nothing has Play been called 'the child's natural business'.   

Imagine a world where suddenly something stops all our adult activity in its tracks.  Who would do the 'next thing' and what would that be?   Children might just Play?   They do in every conceivable situation and circumstance as soon as they are able, they colonise, explore, learn, adapt.        

And yet, we adults have ensured that much of the child's play environment has been degraded and compromised - residential streets occupied by the car,  children's freedom to play restricted by fears, intolerance, adult agendas and pressures.   Their health is compromised as is their healthy development.   

The role of Fair  Play for Children is to keep that right and obligation before society, and to encourage people to fight for its advance.  We seek your support, membership, ACTION.      We are a Campaign for The Child's Right to Play - JOIN US!

Fair Play for Children needs your help NOW.    Please donate ANY amount.

OR  Make a Direct Donation from your Computer:   Name: Fair Play for Children    Sort Code  77-91-28    a/c no  87251160

Image result for children playing



Not enduring this .....


Nor these calamities

Image result for child refugee on beach 

 Image result for child soldier  Image result for child refugee on beach Image result for child labour Image result for child labour Image result for child labour



Zeal for Play may have propelled Human Evolution

Ancient footsteps, adult and child, the latter is ?dancing along?   Three million+ years ago ......

 from the New York Times, April 2013 - a thoughtful view on just how important Play has been in shaping how Humanity has developed.        Read Article HERE

What Children say about their Play


NO BALL GAMES   -  Guardian documentary 2020


What Fair Play is doing, its policies and projects, how you can participate.   Click on titles to access. 


Youth Provision Review - Make it Article 31 Compliant

Fair Play's response to Government Review of Statutory Guidance re Youth Services calls for changes in the operation of existing law which imposes duties on Local Education Authorities which many are failing to observe

Fair Play Manifestos  for Play

 What Fair Play has been seeking - showing little progress 2010-2019  ....

What the Law says your Local Education Authority should be doing about Children's and Young People's Recreation

Fair Play's information note explains their duties and obligations.

Fair Play's Report to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child - UK Review 2016

This is our NGO report to the Committee raising issues about the UK and Article 31 (The Right to Play).  Serious questions raised about UK non-compliance.

Play Wise:  asking Children and Young People what they want

Engaging Children and Young People in active participation in their communities is a key requirement in the healthy development of both them and the environment in which they live.   One of their first encounters in that comes through their Play.   PlayWise is a Programme of Fair Play for Children aimed at fostering this participation.

Risk and Play on Adventure Playgrounds       &       Adventure Play - A Brief History

Two publications from Fair Play about Adventure Playgrounds, both by renowned playworker, Tony Chilton

One acre for every 18 .... Golfers fare better than kids

There are around 16100 playgrounds in England serving an estimated 11.2 million children aged under 16, or 1 acre of playground for every 752 children

Unfair Play for Children

Reports revealing Freedom of Information results of survey of English Councils re their expenditure on Play since 2009.   Also re cuts to youth services. 

Stolen Streets, Stolen Childhood 

Fair Play's dynamic report on how kids have been cheated of 3/4 million acres of playspace - by the parked car and ... by adults

Acceptable Behaviour in Tower Hamlets? 

Is it ok for police and council to 'ask' kids to sign a contract not to do ten things they which they haven't been doing anyway?  Or for one of them to be told she can't visit five estates where she all her family and friends live?   For threats of loss of home to be part of the process?   Fair Play followed 5 young peoples' encounters with 'Acceptable Behaviour Contracts'.     Acceptable to whom?

"I signed 'cos mum said we'd lose our home if I didn't sign"

Worrying Fair Play report about "acceptable" behaviour contracts.    Whose behaviour is unacceptable ......?

Children need Freedom to Play

Children need Play to Imagine


Concerned About A Child?
Online Library / Research
Join Fair Play
Contact Us
Jobs in Play Childcare and Youth

Find Childcare

Commercial Play Centres

Your Nearest Scrapstore

Fair Play exists to campaign for the Child's Right to Play, part of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of The Child

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child is the World's most adopted Treaty, the UK has signed it.   Article 31 of the Convention states:

1. States Parties recognize the right of the child to rest and leisure, to engage in play and recreational activities appropriate to the age of the child and to participate freely in cultural life and the arts.  

2. States Parties shall respect and promote the right of the child to participate fully in cultural and artistic life and shall encourage the provision of appropriate and equal opportunities for cultural, artistic, recreational and leisure activity. 

      Fair Play for Children says Britain should incorporate the UN Convention on the Rights of The Child into our national law
The Convention in full:   Read it HERE

Fair Play for Children WAYBACK

These links are samples from our websites over the years, as captured by The Wayback Machine

www.fairplay31.online (current site)

www.fairplayforchildren.org (from 2008)


www,arunet.co.uk/fairplay   from 1998



Email:   FPfC1972@gmail.com

32 Longford Road    Bognor Regis  PO21 1AG, UK                
Tel:  0843-289 2638        M 07488-265916

Skype: FairPlayforChildren

"The good news is, I just got reconnected with a fantastic organization. .... Hands down, they have the most comprehensive and up to date website I have ever seen... Outstanding. Thank you Fair Play for Children for being part of the good news…(even when you are sharing bad news). I needed you today!"


" Fair Play gives excellent support around Play-work issues offering leaflets and policy documents as well as up to date news and information. Ideal for any organisation offering play activities with children. "    cffc.co.uk

" A lively site with lots of information, including downloadable guidelines such as Organising a Playscheme and Child Protection in Playwork. This site also includes excellent information on adventure playgrounds. An excellent directory of play organisations. "