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Play Equipment Manufacturer Uses Grant To Help Make Playgrounds Safer

The Children’s Playground Co. Ltd – or CPCL – is a manufacturer of equipment for children’s play areas, specialising in bespoke designs. Although based in Newcastle-under-Lyme, they frequently work with councils across the entire UK and Ireland. Using wood from the robinia tree, they aim to create the most challenging playground equipment with an emphasis on natural play, incorporating the use of natural materials like sand and woodchip into their designs.

They currently have a small team of five staff members, which includes skilled carpenters and an apprentice, as well as aligned support in the form of architects and engineers. At the moment CPCL also works with Keele University, who provide assistance with the design and development process.

The Children’s Playground initially learned about the Skills Hub and the Training Grants on offer via Staffordshire Chamber of Commerce – thanks to their Chamber membership, they’re kept up-to-date with any opportunities to benefit their business. After making contact, CPCL was awarded a Skills Hub Training Grant.

In May 2022, The Children’s Playground used their Training Grant for a 2-day course allowing all staff to become RPII (Register of Play Inspectors International) registered Operational Playground Inspectors. The course content included: Child development; accidents, their type, frequency and severity; incorporating information from routine and annual inspections; and a logical and systematic approach to inspecting, including risk assessment. All participating staff passed the exam and received their certification.

When we asked Rinske Wassenaar – the director of CPCL – how the grant impacted the business, she said: “In the first place, the team was very motivated to take part in this course, and it resulted in increased in-depth knowledge about all important things concerning play safety, the EN1176/77 standards as well as the reason why things have to be manufactured in certain ways. It was a very good course, by David Yearly from RoSPA Playsafety; the course combined theory with practical, in the form of photos as well as a playground visit in the local area. It also gave the participants a new contact to address possible questions they might have concerning possible safety issues.

We would recommend the Skills Hub Training Grant to others, without any doubt. It might seem to be too time consuming taking staff away from production, but the education of our staff is invaluable and results in a greater commitment to quality of work.”

You can find out more about The Children’s Playground Co. Ltd on their website: The Children’s Playground Company | Playground Equipment | UK, Ireland (thechildrensplayground.com)