Title Volunteers in Playwork - Employment Routes
Project Number UK/13/LLP-LdV/TOI-644
Project Type Transfer of Innovation
Country UK-United Kingdom
Marketing Text Between 2013-2015 the VIPER project produced a training course that introduced the principles and ethos of good quality playwork and provided relevant information that is needed to start volunteering within children's play services.
The volunteer workforce in Europe has an essential role in keeping many community facilities running and in the growth of new services. This is particularly true for projects that support opportunities for children. Many services working with children and young people operate in deprived areas and the children, parents and families benefit from quality provision for play in their community. Routes to employment in this sector are often through voluntary work as applicants are able to demonstrate their transferable skills and active participation, particularly appropriate to women returners. Prior to the VIPER project, there was no EU volunteer play training programme that provided training for volunteers in this vital area of providing for children’s play whilst also building social and civic competences.
The Viper project met all it's objectives during the project and worked very well as a partnership.
The VIPER project addressed this need through the transfer of a training course to improve the quality of VET for adults entering the children’s workforce. The course that was transfered was called‘Volunteers in Play' accredited by SkillsActive (Sector Skills Council). In collaboration, the project developed the programme to incorporate local best practice from across Europe, and transfered it to become an EU training resource. The project result in a multilingual training resource with course materials for VET deliverers and for learners. The course was extended and renamed 'The Play way, an approach to understanding and supporting children's play'
The project enabled learners to become better skilled in an era of economic crisis, to support growth and jobs as well as equity and social inclusion.
The project responded to the target priority area of: Promotion of the acquisition of key competences in VET. Key competences are of importance to promote individual educational and/or employment pathways beyond VET to facilitate transition phases into the labour market, as well as reintegration into the labour market after periods of unemployment. Of the 8 key competences this project focused on Social and Civic competences.
The Consortium consisted of HEIs involved in VET design and delivery, two VET organisations were involved through a common desire to have a resource to use, which complemented their existing VET related services.
Tangible outcomes included a European training resource for VET organisations, and volunteers in play settings throughout the EU. Intangible outcomes included the development a well trained, confident and knowledgeable EU volunteer workforce, able to participate in community activities, through volunteering, gaining stronger links to their local community services that actively supports a return to employment.
The impact was the unique provision of an accredited EU training resource which resulted in a more competent, knowledgeable, better trained volunteers in play and increased levels of active citizenship and volunteering.
There were 8 partnership meetings, 5 face to face in a range of partner countries and 3 virtual meetings. All management files , administrative procedures and the website were established at the outset. The website has information in every language of the partnership and separate section for partners where documents are shared. www.viperproject.eu
All partners attended an initial workshop in November in the UK. Further to this, each country has produced, to deadline, individual reports to explore play and childcare courses in their countries and the training needs of volunteers. The findings from each Consortium partner enabled the production of an overall training needs report to the planned milestone to give an overview of the adaptions to the course that were required. This report, in English was made available to all partners via the shared documents on the website.
A useful meeting in Italy to develop the specification of the product including core material and country specific material and took place in May 2014. All the re-write work to adapt the product took place over the summer 2014 and was translated by all the partners. All partners wrote their cultural country specific materials alongside this work.
The training of trainers took place in Austria in November 2014. Partners also undertook piloting of courses and subsequent work on a product modification report and changes to the course.
Materials to support course materials have been developed. These are film clips that are placed on the relevant place in the website linked to a You Tube account.
Evaluation of the project was ongoing via quarterly questionnaires and reports. External evaluators were appointed and submitted final reports in time.
All partners set up country Advisory groups and met 4 times in the project. Project dissemination took place and was monitored .
A Blog space on the website was created and used by partners.
A final evaluation report was produced
The project created a project brochure. Dissemination continued throughout the project. and sustainability action plans were developed. Many countries have several areas of interest where the course will continue to be delivered.
Access for disadvantaged
Human Health and Social Work Activities
Arts, Entertainment and Recreation
program or curricula
Working with children of all ages and abilities is hugely rewarding and can lead on to many other training opportunities or potential paid work. The play sector itself covers a wide range of settings that support the child's right to play from playschemes and adventure playgrounds to Out of School Clubs and Play Rangers in parks. Play is an essential part of a healthy childhood and understanding how adults can create spaces and environments in which children can freely play is an important part of a playworkers role.
This training course introduced the principles and ethos of good quality playwork and aimed to give the relevant information that is needed to start volunteering within children's play services.
Volunteers are an important member of any playwork team and we hope that this course will inspire those attending to continue working with children.