Podcast #4 – Playwork as Community Development

I first met Mike Barclay, from Wrexham’s Play Development team and Ludicology, in November 2015 when we began liaising over research into the social benefits of playwork in Wrexham as part of our respective day jobs. As we finalised the research brief I gained a much clearer understanding of playwork (as distinct from play), and was prompted to consider Community Development in a different light.

In this podcast Mike explains the role of playworkers in mediating between child and adult agendas and giving children more of a voice; how playwork can empower children and create democratic spaces; and how the best playwork can happen when it is at the heart of communities.

These themes of empowerment, facilitating person-led activity, mediation between conflicting agendas will all chime with Community Development practitioners, but in a playwork context that might be new to some. Ultimately, Mike belives playwork might be “understood as play-centred Community Development”.

Welsh word of the podcast:

play = chwarae [ch*-oo-war-ai]

*a non-English sound as in Scottish “ch” in “loch“,

This podcast was recorded in June 2016 and originally posted on my old WordPress blog.


To learn more about why Russell has started The Community Development Podcast read this blog.

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Intro music: New Star In The Sky (Chanson Pour Solal) by Air

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