PlayBoard NI’s Play Training for Professionals programme is targeted at those who work directly with parents and families. This one-day free training session will equip professionals with the skills to better understand play and pro-actively promote play to parents and families.

Who should attend?

This may be particularly of interest to those working as:

  • Health Visitors and/or Child Health Assistants

  • Social Workers and/or Family Support Workers

  • Professionals working with children with disabilities

  • Allied Health Professionals

  • Relevant professionals from within Community and Voluntary sector

The workshop aims to do the following:

  • To provide an understanding of the Right to Play, the importance of play and the barriers children face in meeting their play needs.

  • To enable participants to have a greater understanding of the range of play types and their practical application.

  • To help participants understand the importance of managed risk and opportunities to engage in challenging play which helps support children’s skill development and capacity.

  • Explore how professional roles impact on play and provide participants with approaches to promoting play through daily interaction with parents.

  • To provide approaches to exploring and enabling participants to address parental concerns regarding play.

  • To provide practical play ideas for parents that can be applied within the home or local community to enhance opportunities for play.

Play For Parents programme:

The Play for Parents programme is part of the overall ‘Play Matters’ initiative which is being facilitated by PlayBoard NI in collaboration with the Department of Education. The programme is funded by the Early Intervention Transformation Programme (EITP).

The aim of the Play for Parents programme is to provide parents and the professionals who work with them the knowledge and understanding of the many benefits of play in relation to their children’s development and provide the skills to provide meaningful play opportunities.

The Play For Parents programme consists of three key elements:

  • 1: Play Training for Professionals who work directly with parents

  • 2: Play Awareness sessions for parents, and

  • 3: Play Modelling sessions for parents and children

The information contained on this page relates to the Play Training for Professionals sessions. The Play Training session will be delivered by a group of occupationally competent Playwork Tutors from Belfast Met and People 1st.

For further information please download the Play For Professionals information leaflet below:


It is anticipated that there will be a high level of demand for these training sessions. As such places will be allocated on a first come first served basis. In the event that your preferred dates are not available we will contact you to arrange alternative dates (if available).

To book a place please send your details including your preferred training dates, or to discuss the Play for Parents programme further, please don’t hesitate to contact to Karen Witherspoon at:

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Play Matters - Purple Brush Line

Play Training Dates:

Play Matters - Purple Brush Line

Belfast Area:

Location Date Venue Availability
Belfast Tues 25th Sept People 1st, Malone Road Completed
Belfast Thurs 8th Nov The Skainos Centre Completed
Belfast Wed 14th Nov Crescent Arts Centre Completed
Belfast Thurs 22nd Nov Farset, Springfield Road Fully Booked
Belfast Tues 8th Jan People 1st, Malone Road Spaces Available
Belfast Tues 12th Feb Belfast Met College, Belfast Fully Booked

Northern Area:

Location Date Venue Availability
Magherafelt Wed 9th Jan Magherafelt Fully Booked
Ballymoney Wed 16th Jan Ballymoney Fully Booked
Antrim Wed 23rd Jan Holywell Hospital Fully Booked
Antrim Wed 30th Jan Holywell Hospital Fully Booked
Magherafelt Wed 6th Feb Magherafelt Fully Booked
Ballymoney Wed 13th Feb Ballymoney Fully Booked

South Eastern Area:

Location Date Venue Availability
Newtownards Mon 12th Nov The Link Centre Completed
Lisburn Mon 19th Nov Lisburn Health Centre Completed
Downpatrick Thurs 29th Nov Down Arts Centre Spaces Available
(TBC) Jan (TBC) (TBC)
(TBC) Jan (TBC) (TBC)

Southern Area:

Location Date Venue Availability
Lurgan Fri 9th Nov People 1st, Lurgan Completed
Portadown Fri 23rd Nov NIACRO, Portadown Fully Booked
Newry Mon 14th Jan People 1st, Newry Spaces Available
Newry Mon 28th Jan People 1st, Newry Spaces Available
(TBC) Thurs 31st Jan (TBC)
(TBC) Feb (TBC)

Western Area:

Location Date Venue Availability
Omagh Fri 30th Nov Omagh Enterprise Centre Spaces Available
Derry/Londonderry Mon 3rd Dec Great James Street Health Centre Fully Booked
Derry/Londonderry Thurs 10th Jan Gransha Park, Lilac Villa Spaces Available
Omagh Mon 21st Jan Omagh Spaces Available
Derry/Londonderry Wed 23rd Jan Waterside Health Centre Fully Booked
Enniskillen Fri 1st Feb Enniskillen Fully Booked

This programme is supported by an number of consortium organisations:

People 1st, Belfast Met, Parenting NI, Early Years, NICMA, NIACRO, Guide Dogs for the Blind, Homestart and Women’s Aid.

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