Closure Statement – January 16th 2019

Leeds Play Network will cease to exist.

Sadly, trustees and staff of the children’s charity Leeds Play Network (LPN) are  announcing its closure.  After 30 years delivering a play service for children, parents and child care professionals in the Leeds area, the charity will finally close its doors on the 31st March 2019 and disappear from the important voluntary sector within Leeds

The organisation has fought a long and purposeful battle against the continued poor levels of funding for children’s play at both a local and national level. Slowly but inexorably raising funds to keep alive an essential service, which recognises the vital importance of play and playing in the lives of children has become an almost impossible task. Leeds City Council has been a great source of support, but their funding streams have become increasingly stretched as government finances for play have declined. Whilst LPN has been able to access small grants from a range of charities and businesses, such funding sources have not been sufficient to sustain the core costs of delivering play projects on a regular basis.  Leeds Play Network would like to thank all of our funders as this broad range of funding has been crucial in facilitating LPN’s continuous commitment to constantly delivering projects together with raising and maintaining awareness of the importance of play and playing for children.

Across the last 30 years LPN has worked with a variety of Leeds communities and small play organisations promoting a culture where children and parents are encouraged to put play and playing at the heart of their lives. The charity believes that its work and commitment has provided positive experiences for a wide range of children and adults within the Leeds environs. Hopefully, across the next 30 years, and following the precedent set by LPN, another organisation will emerge and continue to advocate on behalf of children and their play. After all, the nature and styles of children’s play may change but their need and drive to play will always be present.

The sound of children playing is the sound of a healthy community’.