Let's Play Fair Open Letter to Michael Gove MP

Rt Hon Michael Gove MP
Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities
2 Marsham Street

Dear Secretary of State,

Every child has a right to play. Yet many disabled children can’t enjoy their local playground because it isn’t designed for them. That is why Scope is calling on the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities to lead on creating an Inclusive Playground Fund to develop accessible playgrounds for disabled children.

Play is so important to a child’s development; it feeds imagination and forms friendships. Playgrounds are spaces that allow children to be themselves and form many early memories.

Yet, imagine not being able to take your child out to the playground. Imagine watching your child shut out from making these early friendships, from just having fun as a child with friends and relatives. For many families with disabled children this is the reality.

As families with disabled children face rising costs of living, the need for free, inclusive playgrounds becomes more important than ever. But many disabled children are not able to enjoy their local playground as the space and equipment isn’t designed for them, leaving them and their families isolated. Half of parents we surveyed reported facing accessibility problems with their local playground, and only 28 percent said they felt part of the community whilst at the playground.

All children should have equal access to playgrounds, and that needs Government support. That’s why Scope is calling on the Government to introduce a new £37 million Inclusive Playground Fund.
This fund will be used by councils to create inclusive playgrounds where all children, disabled and non-disabled, can play and form memories that last a lifetime. Inclusive play, when disabled and nondisabled children play together, offers a space for shared experience, enabling children to have equal status and provides the chance to break down social barriers.

This is an opportunity for Government to recognise that life for families with disabled children is much harder than it needs to be. An Inclusive Playground Fund will support every child to be able to play, explore and grow.

Yours sincerely,

Mark Hodgkinson's signature
Mark Hodgkinson
Chief Executive, Scope

Sign the letter here