11 April 2013

Funding For Your Play Area – Appeal Letter Tips

Securing funding for your playground project can be a difficult, tiresome process. That’s why it is always nice to get tips and advice that can help you secure the playground of your dreams.

Once all of your planning and research is complete, the next step is to write a successful funding application letter that will persuade funders to accept your bid. Writing a good funding appeal letter may seem daunting but here are some tips to help you as you begin to write your application.

After all, if you don’t ask properly, you won’t get anything!

Key starting points
  • Make sure that you address your application to the correct person.
  • Personalise your application to each individual funder.
  • Use a clear font with a simple layout and structure.
  • Use a clear, catchy and appropriate title.
Writing style
  •  Be passionate and enthusiastic about the project.
  •  Be emotional.
  •  Be interesting and fresh.
  •  Be different (stand out from the rest).
  • Keep it simple and don’t waffle! Short, concise, to the point sentences.
  • Make it as exciting as possible from the start.
  • Use active language such as: “this project will” not “this project could”. Illustrate how the project will make a difference and focus on the positive outcomes that will come from the funding.
  • Make it personal using ‘we’ and ‘us’. This will make them feel involved in the project.
  • Tell a story to allow funders to relate to the project.
  • Tell them the benefits of the project and how it will help people.
  • Case studies of previous projects will back your application up – show your success stories!
  • Proof read it over and over again using numerous people (fresh eyes might pick on something that you have missed).
  • Always check for consistency.
  • Say thank you!!
  • Invite the funders to your grand opening and send them photographs of the finished site.
If you follow these tips and get your funding application letter perfect, it may give you that extra edge to help you receive the funding that you need.

Good Luck!

25 February 2013

Environmental Play Teaches Valuable Lessons in Schools

Environmental Play and learning the value of sustainable living should be an essential part of the school curriculum, in my opinion.

As a child I used to love getting my hands dirty in the back garden digging for worms or helping my mum plant some seeds. It was exciting to feel the different textures of the dirt, counting the seeds and watering them, wondering what they will look like in a few weeks.

As children spend more time sat indoors watching television and playing on their computers, it’s more important than ever for schools to encourage children to play and learn outdoors.

Environmental Play can aid children’s development in their school curriculum. It can support numeracy through counting seeds, sequencing and measuring plants as they grow. It can also help with language and literacy, providing links to storytelling, communication and creative writing, such as Jack and the Beanstalk!

Playdale are currently offering a 10% discount for the next two weeks on all products in their Eco-Play range to help schools get their play areas ready for spring time.

CLICK HERE to browse the discounted range and see how you can help children get their hands dirty and learn about the environment.

Do you incorporate Environmental Play in your lesson plans?

To view our full product range request a brochure HERE

12 February 2013

5 Maintenance Tips to Make Your Playground Safe for Spring/Summer

It is vital that your playground equipment is safe and ready for the warmer months ahead. Children will soon flock to play areas all over the country as they can finally enjoy their playground equipment without getting soaked in mud.

However, with this surge of playground users comes a greater importance and emphasis on the safety of your playground equipment.

Here are 5 tips to get your playground safe and ready for Spring/Summer:

  1. Start Planning Early – Don’t put the idea on the shelf and leave it too late. Start preparing early so that your playground equipment is safe and ready for the barrage of children set to embark on it. They will be there before you know it!
  2. Book an Annual Inspection – An inspection of your play equipment forms a very important link between you, the users and the safety of your play area. In my experience, a regular inspection regime can also reduce general maintenance costs. An Annual Inspection by one of Playdale’s qualified RPII Inspectors only costs £195 which will ensure that your playground equipment meets current safety standards to BS EN1176. 
  3. Weekly Checks – Carry out your own weekly checks on your playground equipment. This will help keep maintenance costs down and ensure that your playground is kept at its best. If your playground is heavily used daily checks are recommended.
  4. Get Training – Playdale offer training and consultation packages to give you tips and advice on how to conduct inspections. One of our fully qualified RPII Inspectors will spend 1-2 hours showing you exactly what you need to do.
  5. Upgrade your Equipment – Budgets may be tight at the moment, but why not add some new, low-cost items to your playground. Playground fillers from our dynamic ‘Movers’ range are perfect additions.
If you follow these tips you are sure to have the safest, most exciting playground in the area this Spring/Summer!

For more information on maintenance and inspections, CLICK HERE  to book your Annual Inspection now CLICK HERE

Playground Equipment and Spare Parts Direct to Your Door - www.playdaledirect.co.uk 

16 January 2013

Every Housing Estate Should Have A Playground

It saddens me to think that there are children in this country that don’t have access to playground equipment, a bit of green, or somewhere to kick a ball and run around.

Childhood memories are made from the simplest of things. Personally, I don’t remember the first time I got the highest score on a PlayStation game, but what I do remember is playing football at the park with my Dad and playing an exciting game of manhunt with my friends.

I was quite lucky to have lived in a nice, family estate with access to a play area and playing fields, but many children don’t have this privilege.

Housing developments continue to spring up all over the UK and current policies enforce that all new house builders must have a proposal for play and recreation areas incorporated into their development plans. This is great and hopefully will help this country march on in its fight against child obesity and sedentary lifestyles.

Yes, times have changed. The way that children play is different and the price of their Christmas presents have dramatically risen. But I truly believe that the best present you can give a child is the freedom to play outdoors.

Does your housing estate have somewhere that children can safely play outside?

For more information about the work that we do with Housebuilders, click HERE

23 October 2012

Learning and play go hand-in-hand

I believe that everyone is born with a great mind, but it is how you develop that mind that sets you apart from the rest.

It is so important to give your child every opportunity possible to learn. To provide them with the right environment to try new things, take risks, and challenge them to become better. From the first time you make a splash in the bathtub, to falling over in the park; children are continually learning and their eyes are open wide, digesting their surroundings and everything in it.
At Playdale we continually strive to produce playground equipment that is not just fun, but stimulates and enriches a child’s mind.

Our new schools and nurseries range: ‘Little Explorers’ was a very interesting project to be a part of. It was great to learn why different aspects of the ‘Little Explorers’ were created, and the benefits that every inch of each unit has for a child.
The extensive development and research that the project underwent, working alongside child psychologists was an extremely intriguing process, and much more in-depth than I ever imagined play equipment design to entail before working at Playdale.
We installed 47 new play areas over the summer break for schools throughout the country, and it’s very satisfying to know that each playground is helping children learn, develop and grow every day.
“Play is the only way the highest intelligence of humankind can unfold.” - Joseph Chilton Pearce (Author).

For more information visit: www.playdale.co.uk or www.playdaleschools.co.uk

29 August 2012

Play doesn't cost a penny

When I was younger a trip to the theme park was a rare treat. It was even rarer to find ourselves heading down the M55 to the glorious Blackpool Pleasure Beach, as our ‘day-out budget’ could only stretch to the wonderful world of Morecambe!

However all of these expensive days out could not live up to the freedom and simple pleasures of playing outside with a football, or going on the swings at the local park.

A recent poll by Sainsbury’s asked 1,500 five to eleven year olds in the UK to rank their favourite summertime activity in order of preference, and the results showed that the joys of the great outdoors was preferred over spending money going to the cinema or to theme parks. 

Parents seem to feel a great deal of pressure to entertain their children, and for some reason see expensive excursions as the answer. Maybe it is a lack of creativity on their part, or simply that they just don’t understand that all a child wants to do is have fun. One of my favourite things to do was to get a balloon and play tennis over the couch using my hand, pretending to be the mighty Tim Henman. Who needs the IMAX!

There are plenty of things going on throughout the country as people are taking the fight to childhood obesity; from national Playday’s, to residential areas campaigning to close their streets for the day to allow their children to play outside. It is great to see people making the effort and trying to get their children active.
It doesn’t have to be a big deal……just let your children play.

14 August 2012

Inspiring the Next Generation

As ‘The Who’ belted out a fantastic rendition of ‘My Generation’ to the lucky crowd at the Olympic Stadium and millions of proud Brits at home, there was only one thing on my mind; we are Great Britain and we are here to stay!
After a fantastic two weeks of pure action and drama, the Olympics had surpassed my expectations and left me feeling proud and excited for the future. From the consistent lows of watching England’s national football team crash out of competitions, it was quite surreal to see our team striding to success in such a glorious manner.
29 gold medals is an unbelievable achievement and a real testament to the commitment, determination and talent that Team GB showed in this year’s Games. This success bodes well for the next generation, as we try to ride the wave of glory and push forward towards world sporting domination. Funding is going to be made available for children all over the country to receive quality training and the first class facilities that we need to help nurture them into future stars.
This is a great thing that may finally start to help tackle the fight against childhood obesity and inspire the next generation to put down their PlayStation controllers and get active.
Rule Britannia indeed!