Fair Play for Children

Sign Up your Email Address Today for Fair Play monthly e-letter!
  Software: VerticalResponse



We were founded in 1972 by Trevor Huddleston CR after the deaths of 2 boys by drowning in an East End London canal because there was nowhere safe for them to play.     Fair Play has been at the pioneering edge of play, many ideas and issues started here went on to become mainstream issues, with new organisations taking up what we started.



  1. UK's first National Play Information and Advisory Service
    - this free service continues
  2. Make Waste Space Play Space Campaign:
    Turning marginal land into play areas
  3. Towards Safer Playgrounds:
    Campaign and parent resource
  4. Parents Playground Safety Checklist
  5. Towards Safer Adventure Playgrounds
  6. Why Lock Up Our Schools:
    Campaign for use of Schools for play schemes
  7. Multi-cultural Play Pack


  1. Rural Play Pack
  2. Children's Act and Play Conference
  3. Restore Urban Aid Summer Play funding Campaign and Meeting
    - successful
  4. Initiated proposal for National Voluntary Council for Children's Play
    - developed into Play England


  1. Launched PlayAction
    - our quarterly journal (Now replaced by our online 2x weekly Fair Play for Children News)
  2. Environment and Play Conferences
  3. Launched PlayAction Guides which developed into a range of publications
    - now online in our Publications section
  4. Child Protection in Playwork Pack
  5. Enabled access to Police Checks for Voluntary Groups
    - part of a pre-CRB national pilot
  6. A Fair Deal for Our Children Campaign
    - highlighting inequalities between local government expenditure on adult leisure and children's play, work continues
  7. Home Zones concept first proposed in UK by Fair Play, based on Woonerfs in Holland - many rolled out since across UK


  1. Providing access to Criminal Records Checks since launch of CRB in 2002 and prior to that in a Home Office pilot from 1994.
    - thousands of enhanced checks completed for organisations
  2. Represented Children's Play interests on working party which set up the Vetting and Barring Scheme
  3. Launched new website with news service, online library, publications etc
  4. Child Protection Training Events throughout the country
    - aimed at smaller voluntary bodies
  5. Curfew Watch
    - monitoring unfair blanket curfews on children and young people in the UK
  6. Ban the Mosquito Anti-Teen Device
    - action to prevent its sale and use in the UK, ongoing work, we'll make Government and Councils listen!
  7. Anti-Social Behaviour in Tower Hamlets?
  8. How young people were treated in their own Borough
  9. Stolen Streets, Stolen Childhood
  10. The loss of street play opportunities in England over 4 decades
  11. Unfair Play for Children
  12. How Councils have cut children's play more than any other area
  13. Playground Survey
  14. How many playgrounds are there is England, how much space do they offer children?
  15. The Compatibility of Acceptable Behaviour Contracts with Article 6.1 of the European Convention on Human Rights
  16. What happens when children are accused of anti-social behaviour anonymously.  

  17. Obligations of Councils re Play and Youth provision - publication


  1. Now we have returned to our campaigning roots, currently focusing on the fact that, contrary to a widely-held belief by local authorities, play and youth workers etc, play and youth work are statutory obligations on Local Education Authorities.    Fair Play's news service is second to none,  and we maintain a free online library of publications etc. 

  2. FAIR PLAY in Action



Give Just 5 to Fair Play for Children:

Go to


All links are in yellow 0n this site

Children need Freedom to Play

Children need Play to Imagine

The Right to be a Child

= The Right to Childhood

  =  The Right to Play



Concerned About A Child?
FPFC NewsPublicationsOnline Library / ResearchJoin Fair PlayContact UsJobs in Play Childcare and Youth and 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




Email:   FPfC1972@gmail.com

32 Longford Road, Bognor Regis  PO21 1AG,  UK

M  07488-265916

Skype:   FairPlayforChildren


Fair Play 50

Fifty years ago on 31st July 1972, a letter appeared in 'The Times' in the wake of a tragedy - two boys aged nine and seven drowned playing in a tin bath in an East End Canal in London .... for want of somewhere safe to play.

A LETTER TO 'The Times':

How Fair Play started

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 all too often 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. YOU CAN HELP IN THIS!

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?

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 this 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
Jan Cosgrove
National Secretary (Proud to be)

"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. "