More funding for children across Scotland to access Outdoor Community Play

20 December 2023


Minister for Children, young people and keeping the Promise, Natalie Don visited Kirlandneuk Community Centre this week to celebrate the extension of the Outdoor Community Play, which will enable 14,000 children and families across Scotland to access outdoor community play on their doorstep.  

Funded by the Scottish Government and delivered by Inspiring Scotland, the extension will see a further £550,000 invested into 32 charities who will deliver 5,000 outdoor community child-led play sessions. 

As well as the physical health benefits, play can also help to improve attachments, mental wellbeing, strengthen bonds and improve parental confidence. Outdoor Community Play sessions can take place in community spaces such as parks, nature spaces, playgrounds, and woodlands. 

Children’s Minister Natalia Don said,

“Outdoor play has a significantly positive impact on our children’s mental health, wellbeing and confidence. It can teach them how to solve problems, assess risks, boost their physical activity and provide opportunities to meet and interact with others.

“However, options for children to play outdoors are sometimes limited, especially for children in deprived areas. The current cost of living crisis makes it even more essential that we continue our support through funds like this to ensure there are outdoor play options available, free of charge, for families across Scotland.

“I have no doubt that this fund will help grow outdoor community play projects and will continue to have a significant impact on thousands of families.”

Julia Abel, director of funds at Inspiring Scotland said,

“All children have the right to play. Not only is it vital for children’s mental health and wellbeing, but it also boosts physical activity and physical literacy skills, alongside supporting children to learn essential social and emotional skills. 

“We want to make outdoor play accessible for all children in Scotland. Last year, the programme expanded to include more sessions for children and families with additional support needs. The beauty of outdoor community play is that it’s child-led, enabling children to use their creativity and imagination to develop their own ways to have fun, overcome barriers, while teaching life-enhancing skills that will make positive effects all the way into adulthood.” 

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