Play Network Conference: A Day for Pro-Play Housing Providers and Advocates - 6 September 2023

Friday 18th of August 2023

We are delighted to support this FREE event being held on 6 September 2023.  Places are limited.  For further information and booking details please email

Date: 6 September 2023

Time: 9.45am - 3.00pm

Venue: Clarion Housing, Level 6, 6 More Londong Place, Tooley Street, London SE1 2DA

I should attend this event because I want to...

  • Understand why children need to play out near home
  • Understand the crucial role of housing providers in preventing or enabling this
  • Hear of emerging/best practice around Play in Social Housing
  • Share your experience and help develop a pro-play policy template
  • Feed into Playing Out's draft social housing toolkit
  • Launch and secure sign up to a new social housing Pro-Play Network to take this work forward


  • Housing Associations professionals specialising in housing, development and community investment
  • Children, play and housing academics and specialists


9.45 am

Arrivals and registration


Welcome and introduction to the day and how it’s going to work

Pete Davies, Playing Out and Sarah Mitton, Clarion Housing Group

  • Purpose of the day
  • Overview of the agenda
  • Introduction to Playing Out and Play Streets
  • Clarion’s interest in play and the Pro Play Network


Let’s Play!

A creative start to our session together and introducing ourselves


Overview of Presenters


Alice Ferguson, Playing Out

Why playing out matters and how housing providers can support it


Eleanor Image, Clarion Housing Group

A play expert’s view through a social housing lens


Refreshment break


Dina Bornat, ZCD Architect

Child-friendly co-design


Panel Q&A session


Lunch break


Challenges, barriers & solutions sessions – Pete Davies

In facilitated groups of 6 we’ll share, discuss and capture:

  • Reflections on the morning – what’s struck and stayed with you?
  • What challenges and barriers are we facing?
  • What are our solutions?


Rapid-fire feedback by table


Launching the Pro-Play Network and securing early sign up – Sarah Mitton


Wrap up – Pete Davies



Why do children need to pay out near home and how can housing providers best support this?

Playing out - just having the freedom to get outside the front door and play with friends near home - is important for children in so many ways. It is now they get everyday exercise to stay fit and healthy, it's how they let off steam and stay mentally healthy, it's how they make friends and develop social skills, it's how they feel a sense of place and belonging in their communities.

Children playing out in an estate or community - when properly supported and made safe - can also be a positive for everyone, bringing parents and neighours of all ages and backgrounds together and helping to create a stronger, friendlier and safer community and neighbourhood they live in.

Sadly, this everday freedom and cost-free access to health and wellbeing for children has been hugely diminished over the pas few decates due to increased traffic, shifting attitudes and increased parental fear.

Two of the key factors in enabling children to play out where they live and restoring this freedom are:

  1. Safe, accessible space on the doorstep
  2. Permission and support for children to use this space

Housing providers are in a unique position to provide these conditions and to be part of a positive culture-change for children. There is huge potential. However, greater collaboration is required to overcome major issues and barriers impeding doorstep play for children.

We also would like to use this as a platform to share the pro-play practices of housing providers, which needs sharing to inspire and inform the wider sector.

This event will communicate the importance of playing out for children and communities, examine the issues and barriers, collaborate to find potential solutions and share good practice.

For more information on Playing Out visit their website here.