Play leading the way to promote Social Inclusion

May 3, 2021 by nswadmin

Congratulations to the four Variety Livvi’s Place Inclusive playspace projects on winning NSW Department of Planning, Infrastructure and the Environment – Everyone Can Play grants for 2021. Over $1.2 million, of the $3.65 million available, granted for new playspaces went to Councils delivering Variety Livvi’s Place projects.

  • Newcastle City Council – VLP Foreshore Park, Newcastle
  • Shoalhaven City Council – VLP Marriott Park, Nowra
  • Tweed Shire Council – VLP Jack Evans Boat Harbour, Tweed Heads
  • Upper Lachlan Shire Council – VLP Coleman Park, Crookwell

Variety’s Head of Inclusive Play, Kim Becherand said “We are delighted that government partners are valuing the importance of play for all children and prioritising the just use of public space by putting funding into the projects we are partnering on. We are inspired by working with these visionary councils who bring the community together to envisage and create bespoke, truly inclusive playspaces where we can all play, learn and live together.

Our project partners are taking inclusion to the next level by deeply engaging with all in their communities at the planning stages in an inclusive participatory manner. They are really listening to get it right for all in their communities and most importantly talking to the real play experts – the kids!

We are passionate about every child experiencing play in their local community where they can grow and learn, make friends and thrive. This works toward Variety’s vision – or all children to attain their full potential. We love getting on the ground in communities and working with the kids, families and those who we can support to have their say”.

Tweed Shire Council Recreation Planner, Jodie Hewitt “The Variety Inclusive Play team personally connect with kids and those in the community who we might not reach with the traditional ways we engage. We have also built new skills and looked at how we can be more inclusive in our engagement moving forwards”.

Variety also congratulates the 37 other projects throughout NSW that were successful applicants for the Everyone Can Play funding. We look forward to seeing all the projects completed as we get play for everyone on the agenda in NSW.

The Variety Livvi’s Place playspace projects are all in regional communities and are a shining example of Variety’s Inclusive Play model  where we partner with councils to bolster their capacity, expertise and resources. We particularly target smaller councils, regional communities and areas with high numbers of people identifying as living with disability or needing additional support and low- socio economic areas. We are particularly delighted for our projects in Nowra and Crookwell.

Upper Lachlan Shire Council General Manager, Colleen Worthy says “Our partnership with Variety to bring a Variety Livvi’s Place to Crookwell has our much needed inclusive playspace project up and running. It will be a positive focus for all in our community, bringing us together, as we rebuild after the fires of 2019/20. Without Variety’s support, we would not have been able to do this for some time”.

At a Variety Livvi’s Place everyone is welcome, valued and feels they belong. If you are 1 or 100+ year old, all can participate and enjoy the benefits of play and socialising in public spaces.

Our projects create healthier, happier lives for children, families and communities by delivering and activating intergenerational playspaces. They are thriving community hubs strengthening family bonds, promoting healthy lifestyle choices, building connections to community and increasing wellbeing for all.

If you are currently working on an inclusive playspace project, or thinking about it and would like to see how Variety’s Inclusive Play team can support you, please contact us on [email protected], or call Kim Becherand on 0403778142.

We are also running an Inclusive Play Design Workshop in Sydney on Thursday May 27th. Come and work with fellow Inclusionistas as we review inclusive playspaces and learn more about inclusive play and playspace design. Hear from leading playmakers and receive feedback and input on your own inclusive play projects as well as how to promote your projects with stakeholders both internally and in community. Perfect for all those in the play eco-system including councils, designers and suppliers. An interactive workshop and day of reflection, learning and fun. Come and play!