Out of School Conference and Awards Ceremony 2023

Clybiau Plant Cymru Kids’ Clubs held our Out of School Conference and Awards Ceremony on 8th February 2023, building on the success of our first online conference last year. Although it would have been lovely to celebrate achievements in person, the online platform, streaming live on Youtube improved accessibility and we were pleased to welcome so many Out of School Childcare Clubs to our event. Thank you to our guest speakers by providing such informative, relevant and interesting updates: Nicola Edwards and Rebecca Johnson (Welsh Government), Kevin Barker and Dawn Duffy (Care Inspectorate Wales) and Janet King (NCFE).

Nine awards were launched in October last year, for which we received many worthy nominations, demonstrating the wonderful work going on in the sector to make a positive difference to children, families and communities. Congratulations to nominated Playworkers, Volunteers, Managers, Committees and Clubs across Wales and the winners. It really is a privilege to support you and your clubs.

Our Winners of the Out of School Childcare Awards 2023

Playworker of the Year: Ross Dingle @ Clwb Carco, Pwll Coch (Cardiff)

A Playworker who embodies the Playwork Principles and has gone above and beyond to provide an excellent service for children, parents/carers and the local community.

“Ross goes above and beyond to ensure the kids have great opportunities to play. He goes out of his way to apply for additional grants and funding to ensure that all children from all backgrounds can attend the club and runs additional sessions during school holiday periods whenever possible. This is invaluable for the kids and for the parents/carers. He arranges additional fun activities for the kids and encourages inclusive play for everyone including kids with additional needs. He is an absolute star and a huge asset to the Ysgol Pwll Coch community. You can see the impact this has on the kids in terms of their wellbeing and opportunities to keep fit and exercise.”

Out of School Club of the Year: Dylan’s Den (Rhondda Cynon Taf)

A setting that embodies the Playwork Principles and that is an excellent example of the benefit of quality play and childcare for children, families and communities.

“The childcare service offered by Dylan’s Den is next to none. The staff are warm and friendly and they had so much fun with my little one when she attended the holiday club there. Lots of activities on offer, lots of outdoor play and a keen interest in healthy eating. She had so much fun there playing, dancing, making smoothies, she didn’t want to come home!

“Dylan’s Den was set up in 2008 by a group of parents in need of reliable, trustworthy and affordable childcare in the Rhondda. The provision is accessible to all, and the activities offered to the children support all areas of their development to allow them to reach their full potential.”

Champions of Inclusion: Tiddlywinks (Taibach, Neath Port Talbot)

An Out of School Childcare Club that works hard to provide inclusive, quality provision and to support accessibility for all children, staff and families.

“We pride ourselves in our inclusion values. We feel everyone has a right to be included and we never turn anyone away. We will support children and families to the best of our abilities. One example: – We had a boy that came by taxi all the way from Swansea. Local settings struggled with his behaviour. Fortunately, we were able to support him and his family. Language was one barrier, and he was very frustrated. We focused on activities he enjoyed and worked from there.”

Play Champion: Elemental Adventures CIC (Ceredigion)

An Out of School Childcare Club that has championed children’s right to play and striven to provide high quality play opportunities for the children in their care

“This Club is held completely in an outdoor location, promoting the different elements of play within their provision. Children are able to experience different risks and learn about their own personal level of risk. This Club is also very active in apply for grants to improve their outdoor setting, e.g., successfully receiving funding for an outdoor canopy as shelter. Additionally, their location is in the middle of woodland, allowing children to explore and learn from their natural environment, using natural resources for climbing, experimenting, and using imagination. Allowing children to be children.”

Learner of the Year: Katie Lloyd, Buttons & Bows (Cardiff)

A learner who has worked hard to achieve or make progress towards a qualification with Clybiau Plant Cymru Kids’ Clubs. This may have involved supporting peers, participating well in sessions, making the most of the learning experience, or overcoming challenges with passion and determination.

“This learner has really engaged with the training. She challenges the way people speak and has been an advocate for play. She has transformed her provision and fully embodied the Playwork ethos, effectively integrating children’s rights. She has taken what she has learnt and run with it. She also has supported her staff to achieve their qualifications, well done Katie!”

Commitment to Continuing Professional Development: LCDP (Rhondda Cynon Taf)

An Out of School Childcare Club that is committed to encouraging and supporting its staff to attend training and workshops to enhance their professional development, to support a quality childcare provision to be offered to the local community.

“LCDP run many different Out of school clubs and we encourage all staff with their CPD. We have had many staff take part in play Wales play forum, encourage Playwork qualifications and all mandatory requirements like safeguarding and first aid.; they also attend play workshops and any training available to us. Children’s right to play is very important to us we like staff to understand how it all works and the values it brings to the children.”

Welsh Language Champion: Woodlands Childcare Centre Ltd (Neath Port Talbot)

An Out of School Childcare Club that has championed the Welsh Language and striven to improve the level of Welsh Language incorporated into the Setting and to support their own learning or the learning of others.

“The setting has made a big effort to embed the Welsh culture throughout the setting with many staff enrolling on to the Camau course to help ‘bring more Welsh in the workplace’. After receiving a promotional email from Clybiau Plant Cymru Kids’ Clubs, a number of staff decided to enrol on the Camau course over the last year and a half, some have even progressed and completed the Entry Part 2 course. The setting as a whole has started to implement the Welsh skills learnt through Camau in to the setting. Staff have begun using Welsh within their daily routine using phrases and words like ‘amser snac’, amser cinio, and ‘amser tacluso’ as well as using key Welsh words in the role play corner. Daliwch ati Woodlands! Da iawn!!”

Supporting Staff Wellbeing: Dylan’s Den (Rhondda Cynon Taf)

A Manager, Owner, Play Leader or Committee that has striven to support the mental health and wellbeing of their staff, to create a healthy, positive work environment.

“The management at Dylan’s Den are so supportive and understanding. The best employees I’ve ever worked for. Nia and Gina are at the end of the phone any time and don’t just help with work issues, the support us on day to day issues too. During Covid not only were we off on full pay we were also paid to do courses to develop ourselves and our practice. Before Furlough was announced they had already made the call that all staff would be off with full pay. They genuinely care about their staff and look after our well-being with regular meetings and also a well-being fund which we have nice things bought for us ☺️. This really boosts staff morale.”

Volunteer of the Year: Volunteer award: Linda Bunkell, TEMPS (Wrexham)

A volunteer who has worked hard and invested their own time to support their local Out of School Childcare Club and community.

“Linda is a Trustee in a million, her commitment to the club is amazing , Linda helps with everything, she has been connected to the club for at least 25 years and when the club decided to involve parents more and elect Trustees and become a CIO Linda was at the front of the line to join TEMPS her knowledge, experience and enthusiasm is amazing.”

Roll of Playworker graduates 2022 (January – December) and Welsh Learning Achievers

We would also like to celebrate our Playworker graduates 2022 (January – December) and Welsh learning achievers. During the year, we saw an amazing number of Playworkers engaging in training with us and subsequently flourish in their roles, with learners making meaningful changes to their practice and benefitting children across Wales.


Could you be one of our winners in 2024?