Risk It! - ‘risk-benefit’ approaches to play provision

Most people now agree that risk and challenge is important for children and young people and attempts to eliminate it result in sterile and boring play spaces.

But in practice introducing risk and challenge to actual play settings is fraught with difficulties and entails winning hearts and minds.

We can help you do this by:

  • Delivering training
  • Organising discussion groups, seminars and conferences
  • Designing play spaces that include features such as water, sand, rope swings, fallen trees and non-standard equipment.
  • We will work with you from design through to implementation to resolve ‘health and safety’ issues.

The principal of PLAYLINK, Bernard Spiegal, is one of the authors of the influential Play England publication ‘Managing Risk in Play Provision’.

We/PLAYLINK organised a National Scottish ‘Risk It!’ conference in Stirling and another for the London Borough of Islington and the Islington Play Association piloting a practical framework for adopting a ‘risk benefit’ approach to children’s play environments.

Sample and blank risk benefit assessment forms can be downloaded here:

The ‘risk-benefit’ approach consciously considers the real value to children of experiencing and dealing with risk. It gives play providers the means of assessing and arguing for exciting, interesting and ‘risky’ play space

‘Health and safety’ demands, insurance requirements and the existence of various sets of standards and guidance can make it difficult to sort out what the actual legal duties of a play provider are. We can help you be clear about this.

Risk Benefit Briefing Paper