Play Sufficiency as Community Development

Wednesday October 9, 2019

We wrote this paper for The Radical Community Work Journal back in 2018. The paper documents the process of 'doing play sufficiency' that we went through with Wrexham County Borough Council from the commencement of the Welsh Play Sufficiency Duty in 2011.

In this quote taken from the paper we suggest:

‘play sufficiency might best be seen as an ongoing two-part cyclical process. Firstly, “a play sufficiency assessment must be carried out, this assessment informs the second aspect, the play sufficiency action plan, this action plan informs engagement and participation in targeted areas identified through the assessment stage. The outputs of this action will be assessed during the next sufficiency assessment. In essence then, what is happening is a continuous process of community engagement, participation and development through twin processes of research and evaluation, action and re-evaluation; with children and adults as key stakeholders in this process, developing an evidence base for community development (evidence-based practice). These two aspects: research and action, should not be considered as independent of one another. The research without the action accounts for a moment in time, whilst action without the research is merely ‘another’ community project.

Committing to play sufficiency as an organising principle for community development means researching with children and adults as a continuous process that influences action that will then be the subject of further research. Play sufficiency is an ongoing inter-relational co-constructive practice operating at micro, meso, exosystemic and macro levels, the results of which will be changes in practices, procedures and policies within and across the ecosystem.’

With the commencement of the Play Sufficiency Duty the Welsh Government legitimised play as an outcome, justified time spent supporting play and created a medium through which a broad range of professionals could give consideration to play. Elevating the status of play alongside other strategic priorities. This paper explores issues related to play sufficiency, how we went about assessing sufficiency of opportunity to play across Wrexham and the approach Wrexham County Borough Council took to securing play sufficiency.

The full article can be found in:

The Radical Community Work Journal: Voices from the field: a snapshot of practice

Vol 3, No 2 (2018)

Titled: Play Sufficiency as an organising principle of community development

You have to register to the journal to read the full paper but it’s free and given the journal has a bunch of interesting issues and papers is well worth the time taken it takes to register.


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