PlayBoard Conference 2019 - Play Matters Because Play Builds Children
PlayBoard Conference 2019 - Play Matters Because Play Builds Children
PlayBoard Conference 2019 - Play Matters

World Children’s Day took place on 20 November with this year celebrating 30 years since the UN General Assembly adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The Convention establishes the rights that all children everywhere are entitled to, including the right to play. As the lead organisation for the development and promotion of children and young people’s play in Northern Ireland, PlayBoard NI marked the day with our annual conference, Play Matters because Play Builds Children at the Crowne Plaza, Belfast.

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 focused on play as a key building block of childhood. Our keynote speakers and workshop facilitators engaged 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.

Programme
#PBConf2019

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.

Programme
#PBConf2019
PlayBoard Conference 2019 - Keynote Speakers
PlayBoard Conference 2019 - Keynote Speakers
Jacqueline O'Loughlin - PlayBoard NI Chief Executive

Jacqueline O’Loughlin

PlayBoard NI – Chief Executive

As the CEO of PlayBoard NI since 2005, Jacqueline is responsible for running all facets of the organisation. Working predominately in the community and voluntary sector in Northern Ireland Jacqueline has held a number of senior management positions over the past 20 years. Prior to joining PlayBoard Jacqueline worked within education in both formal and informal structures.

Alan Herron - Director of Service Delivery and Development, PlayBoard NI

Alan Herron

PlayBoard NI – Director of Service Delivery and Development

Play – The Domino Effect

Appointed PlayBoard’s Director of Service Delivery and Development in October 2009, Alan is responsible for overseeing a range of services including political advocacy and lobbying; training delivery; research and programme evaluation and the development and delivery of school and community based play programmes.

Presentation
Derek Baker - Department Of Education

Derek Baker

Department Education – Permanent Secretary

Mr Derek Baker was appointed Permanent Secretary in the Department of Education on 27 February 2017. Mr Baker has 36 years experience in the Northern Ireland Civil Service. He has held senior positions in a number of departments including the Department of Health, the Department for Social Development, the Department of Finance and Personnel and Department of Education.

Helen Dodd - Professor of Child Psychology, University of Reading

Helen Dodd

University of Reading – Professor of Child Psychology

Could Adventurous Play Decrease Anxiety in Childhood?

Helen Dodd is a Professor of Child Psychology at the University of Reading and a UKRI Future Leaders Fellow. Her research focuses on the development of anxiety disorders in children, with a particular focus on understanding factors that underpin risk for anxiety in preschool and primary school aged children.

Presentation
Stella O'Malley - Mental Health Professional, Best-Selling Author and Public Speaker

Stella O’Malley

Psychotherapist, Best-selling Author & Public Speaker

Growing Up In A Cotton Wool Society

Stella O’Malley is a psychotherapist, best-selling author, and public speaker. Much of Stella’s work focuses on mental health and the importance of well-being and she is a regular contributor to the national media.

Presentation
Felicitas zu Dohna - Senior Consultant - ARUP

Felicitas zu Dohna

Arup – Senior Consultant

Everything To Play For

Felicitas is a Foresight and Research Analyst in Arup’s Foresight, Research and Innovation team. Her role includes the planning and delivery of workshops and events, both for Arup and external organisations, as well as research and analysis of the major challenges and trends affecting the built environment, society, and culture.

Presentation
Joanna Brown - Safeguarding Board Northern Ireland

Joanna Brown

Implementation Manager for Education – Safeguarding Board for Northern Ireland

PACEs: Play – A Counter To ACEs

Joanna Brown is an Implementation Manager for Education with the Safeguarding Board for Northern Ireland (SBNI). Her role is to ensure that the Education Sector is supported in developing a trauma informed approach through recognition of Adverse Childhood Experiences, building strengths based approach.

Presentation
Grainia Long - Commissioner for Resilience, Belfast City Council

Grainia Long

Belfast City Council – Commissioner for Resilience

Building A Resilient Future For All Our Citizens

Grainia Long is Commissioner for Resilience for the city of Belfast, based in Belfast City Council. Her role was created following Belfast’s membership of the global 100 Resilient Cities network, funded by the Rockefeller Foundation.

PlayBoard Conference 2019 - Workshops
PlayBoard Conference 2019 - Workshops
Suzi Gray

Playwork – It’s Child’s Play, Isn’t It?

Suzi Gray – Technical Adviser for Health, Social Care, Early Years & Childcare, City & Guilds

In a world of often conflicting demands and expectations, walking the line between the ‘edge of order and the edge of chaos’ can feel like a lonely place and yet, as playworkers, walk it we must. Join Suzi to discuss the big and small challenges we all encounter as playworkers that, if left unchecked, can tip the scales away towards ‘work’ and away from play!

Workshop Notes
Amanda Grimes - People 1st

A Richer Understanding of Article 31 – The Child’s Right to Play

Amanda Grimes – Quality Assurance Manager, People 1st

Heralded as an important milestone for play advocates across the globe General Comment 17 was adopted by the UNCRC in February 2013. Six years on how does Northern Ireland measure up? Focusing on Northern Ireland’s play journey, specific focus will be on reflection learning and next steps.

Presentation
Emma Marshall - Action Mental Health

Building Emotional Resilience in Children and Young People

Emma Marshall – Project Worker, Action Mental Health

The session will draw from practical experience focusing on techniques used to facilitate learning in children and young people. The session will share how active and visual learning activities can be used to enable children to discuss emotional well-being and how digital technology can be incorporated into sessions to increase engagement.

Workshop Notes
Christiaan Karelse - Project & Policy Officer, Belfast Healthy Cities

Engaging with Children to create Child Friendly Places for Northern Ireland

Christiaan Karelse – Project & Policy Officer, Belfast Healthy Cities

Belfast, as a Healthy City, promotes the concept of Child Friendly Places in Northern Ireland by sharing evidence and building capacity. A main aim of the Child Friendly Places programme is to provide children with a platform for sharing their views. About 7,000 children and families were directly engaged with using innovative methods to identify children’s priorities. This session will look at some of these methods in more detail.

Presentation
PlayBoard Conference 2019 - Play Memories
PlayBoard Conference 2019 - Play Memories
PlayBoard Marks World Childrens Day - Play Memory 1
PlayBoard Marks World Childrens Day - Play Memory 2
PlayBoard Marks World Childrens Day - Play Memory 3
PlayBoard Conference 2019 - To Me Play Is
PlayBoard Conference 2019 - To Me Play Is

“Play is good for my spirit and soul. It is crucial for my relationships, work and well-being.”

“Play is a mood enhancer
that helps with everything.”

“Play is freedom to explore the world around me … in my own time and at my own pace.”

“Play is fun, messy, free movement, no restrictions, with someone else, pretending, imaginative, make believe, escape.”

“Play is getting lost in our imagination and being immersed in our own little worlds that make us happy.”

“Play is fun, freedom, happy memories, getting muddy and wet, adventurous. Doesn’t matter the weather.”

PlayBoard Conference 2019 - World Childrens Day Art
PlayBoard Conference 2019 - Conference Feedback
PlayBoard Conference 2019 - Conference Feedback

“Easily one of the best opportunities to talk to other professionals and play focussed people I have had. Fantastic speakers.”

“I found the conference to be very useful and it has ignited a spark in me to help improve outcomes for the children in my setting and beyond.”

“Excellent conference – learnt so much about the importance of play in building resilience and risk taking in children.”

“As well as the speakers being very interesting and informative it gives you hope that there will be a bright, playful future for our children where more people understand that play matters.”

“The conference inspired me as a Principal to make sure there is still magic in learning … looking forward to next year!”

“Opened my eyes on the complex nature of play and how vital it is.”