Play happens wherever children are, at home, in their neighbourhood and in their community. But not all children and young people growing up today have the same chances in life. For many children, their local environment offers great opportunities for play, recreation and hanging out with friends, supporting their hopes for a great future. For others, their experience is all too often one of play deprivation, poverty, inequality, environmental hazards and even conflict.
The responsibility to make things better lies with civic leadership, our government, local authorities and civil society, indeed all of us working together to lay the necessary foundations for cities, towns and communities, to fulfil the rights and needs of our youngest citizens.
This year our conference focuses on play as a key building block of childhood. Our keynote speakers and workshop facilitators will engage policy makers and resource providers, local leaders and civil society, offering all an opportunity to join hands and collectively develop strategies to make our cities, towns and local communities better places for children and young people to learn, grow and play.
Only by making the communities where children live places where they feel safe, secure and nurtured will they be able to flourish. Attending this conference you may be able to play your role in ensuring a brighter, playful future for every child in Northern Ireland. Join us at our conference on Universal Children’s Day, marking the 30th anniversary of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.