Set a date for your event
Once you have checked the availability of your most senior
participants and speakers, discuss possible dates for your event
with your Play England contact.
Your Play England contact will complete a local priorities
questionnaire with you, which will help tailor your Play Shaper
event to the specific needs of your area. Based on this information
the facilitators will contact you to discuss how to tailor the
Select a venue
Before booking a venue for your Play Shaper event, refer to the
venue checklist to ensure details such as the following are
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- 1. Is the venue available on the date
- 2. Is the venue accessible for people
with limited mobility?
- 3. Is the venue easy to reach by public
- 4. Does the venue hold 25 participants
and is there enough room for participants to move about for
- 5. Are there any access restrictions
(e.g.: closing times)?
- 6. Are there any catering
- 7. Are there any parking
Invite your participants
Invite people who hold key strategic positions across the Local
Strategic Partnership, children’s services and key voluntary and
community groups. This may include representatives from planning,
transport, housing, landscape architecture, regeneration, health,
education and extended services, and the police.
From the voluntary and community sector you may want a
representative from your play partnership or association and your
adventure playground/s. Discuss your invite list with your Play
England contact to ensure there is a balance between the local
authority and key voluntary and community representatives.
Every Play Shaper event should involve senior figures
appropriate for the local area, even if only for a portion of the
day. This could include the local member of parliament, local
councillors, the director of the local play association, local play
champion, the director of children’s services and the director of
parks or planning.
Involving such people will help the event achieve maximum impact
and ensure effectiveness beyond the day.
Try and have senior figures confirm their attendance early and
then name them on your invite letters. This may in turn help to get
others to attend your Play Shaper event.
Remember, the aim of the Play Shaper event is to help
participants build their understanding of the importance of play
opportunities and enable them to co-create environments that will
empower communities to take ownership of a local play provision.
Participants should be decision makers within their professional
areas who can affect change.
Keep in mind:
1. The benefits for participants attending and how their work
may be improved.
2. The mechanisms for inter-departmental support and timescales.
Other departments and organisations may work more slowly or quickly
than you do so consider what you need to do to ensure they are
3. The minimum number of participants required to ensure course
Speak to your Play England contact for advice on the feasibility
of delivering the event if: the numbers are low; there is not a
well balanced mix of participants from across a suitably wide range
of departments; or the majority of participants are not key
decision makers. Please send a copy of your invite list to your
Play England contact.
Promoting your event
The following steps will help you promote your event:
1. Inform your press or communications department about the
event as soon as you have set a date. Share the What is Play
Shaper? briefing with this department so it can promote the event
through its newsletters, websites and email updates.
2. Send your letters of invitation to the identified
3. Follow up with a phone call to see how the invitation was