About us

Leeds Play Network believe that every child has the right to play. Since 1988 when our organisation was founded there have been many changes which have affected children’s play. Todays children may not get to play as much as they should, for various reasons including time, money or social restrictions. Therefore it is crucial that children’s right to play is promoted and supported.
Leeds Play Network is the only charity in Leeds dedicated to promoting play and providing free play opportunities for children across the entire city. We are committed to making space and time for play, to enable children to enjoy their childhood and reap the rewards of the benefits of play.




Glow in the dark slime workshop

Come and enjoy some spooky, slimy fun with us at St Johns centre this October half term. Leeds Play Network will take you through the steps to making the perfect glow in the dark slime and better still, you'll be able to add a variety of extra special Halloween themed bits and pieces to your slime- just like your very own witches potion! We will have 6 sessions throughout the day so you can pick a time to suit you. Each workshop is a maximum of 30 minutes long. There are 15 places for children available per session and each child will be able to make one pot of glow in the dark slime to take home with them. These workshops are designed for children aged 4 years and over.

Our charity strives to

Encourage more play

Play is important and we aim to encourage more of it.  Our city-wide play sessions are free, easily accessible and provide children with opportunities to play , create, experiment and have fun.

Offer support for play

Sometimes a little extra help is required to get playing.  We offer one-to-one support for children with disabilities and give advice to anyone interested in improving and increasing play opportunities.

Promote the benefits of play

Play offers a myriad of benefits to children which will last a lifetime.  The projects we deliver demonstrate our committment to promoting the benefits of play.

Our current projects

Artful Dodgers

Since June 2016 Leeds Play Network has been running arts and crafts sessions for children during school holidays in Leeds city centre.  These are informal creative sessions which give children the opportunity to have fun and explore a range of different activities such as painting, junk modelling and messy play.  At present the Artful Dodgers sessions take place during school holidays at our pop up shop in St Johns Centre on Merrion Street.

Mobile play sessions

We offer open access play sessions designed to respond to the needs of children and young people by providing a stimulating environment.  We deliver sessions in local communities, mainly in parks and local green spaces.  We bring a wealth of play knowledge and experience plus a large range of play equipment and a variety of materials to support the delivery of quality sessions.

St Johns Centre

We have taken up temporary residency in St Johns Centre on the upper level of the centre in the shop unit which was previously Jumbo Records.  The unit has enabled us to offer a playful and creative space for children and families in the city centre.  As well as a large space filled with stuff to play with we also have a shop area selling low cost arts and crafts resources so the fun can continue at home.

Street Play

Leeds Play Network is keen to support street play activity as it offers so many benefits to children and their families. Although our project with Play England has ended we still offer advice via email and telephone to anyone interested in setting up a play street in Leeds.

Play Partners

This project creates short breaks for children and young people with special needs, between 5 and 16 years old.  We provide one-to-one support by matching each child and their family with a play partner.  This enables children to access mainstream activities of their choice and whenever possible, in their local community.

Choose us as your Co-op local community cause

If you shop at The Co-op there is a quick and easy way to support us, raise money for our charity and also make your future shopping bills a bit lighter. Everybody wins!

Let’s keep playing!

Your donation keeps play happening and free of charge for children and families across Leeds

What do children and their families think?

It was really fun and I wish we could do it again!

August 2017 Child - Age 8 - Micklefield Park

It was really fun for people and not just the really young ones

August 2017 Child Age 12 - Springfield Park - Guiseley

It was easy to join in and play because there were lots of things lying around and you could come and get anything you wanted!

August 2017 Child - Age 9 - Kirk Lane Park

It’s so good that the kids get to do things like this and that they are free.  During the holidays there’s always a struggle to find activities and you spend a fortune on the few you find.  We need more things like this

August 2017 Parent - Garnetts Field - Otley

We have enjoyed the session.  It gives my daughter the chance to play with her friends and to make new friends too.

August 2017 Parent - Bramhope Recreation Ground

My favourite thing was building a den with the boxes

August 2017 Child - Age 10 - St Johns Centre

We had a great time and it was so much fun.  You should try it tomorrow!

October 2017 Child - Age 7 - St Johns Centre

Having the sessions help me and my children to come out and play.  The workers are fantastic and supportive.

October 2017 Parent - St Johns Centre

We loved it, it’s a fantastic place.  My children are 10, 5 and 2 and all three of them had something to keep them entertained.  We spent 2 hours here, in fact it was hard to get them to leave.

October 2017 Parent- St Johns Centre

Come and volunteer with us …

We are looking for playful people to volunteer during our play sessions. There are a variety of things you could help us with which would benefit the children and families who attend our sessions.

Get social with us …