Project information

Inner-city Playranger Service

We would like to re-establish safe outdoor play for primary aged children living in the Leith area of Edinburgh. We want to provide a year-round service, two evenings a week, of free staffed outdoor play with traditional games & creative adventure for children whose outdoor play is restricted.

April 2013 - March 2016

Charity information: YMCA Edinburgh

YMCA Edinburgh logo
  • Need


    The Leith area of Edinburgh is a densely populated community with high multiple deprivation centred around several blocks of flats and high rises. Many children live in one parent families & the local play parks are 'no-go' areas as they are frequented by adult drinkers and antisocial behaviour. Consequently many children miss out on the opportunity to play outdoors in a safe environment and so are restricted to indoor play, computer games and watching TV or hanging around with older siblings


    This three year project will employ a team of play-rangers who will all be qualified childcare workers. They will go to the local flats twice a week, 52 weeks of the year and arrange safe play zones with a range of games and free-play activities for children to engage in. The play rangers will also build relationships with the children's parents so that they feel confident about letting their children 'out to play', knowing that they will be safe.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To provide primary aged children with the chance to play outdoors in their local community.


    » Providing two all-weather outdoor play sessions per week in the vicinity of the blocks of flats, staffed by qualified childcare play-rangers.

    What success will look like

    Success will be...30 local primary aged children per week engaging in outdoor play sessions.

    Aim 2

    To develop children's co-operative play, imagination and communication skills.


    » Providing two outdoor play sessions per week where children can engage in a range of team games and co-operative activities such as creative adventure

    What success will look like

    Success will be...children demonstrating an increased ability to shape and construct their own outdoor play experiences with other children.

    Aim 3

    To increase the level of activity and well-being of primary aged children.


    » Providing two play sessions per week which enable children to play active outdoors games which encourage physical activity.

    What success will look like

    Success will be...50 children per year having increased their levels of physical activity through outdoor play.

  • Impact


    Long term, we hope to engage a new generation of children in active outdoor play and also to encourage parents to get involved in play with their children too. The project will provide children with the chance to feel confident about playing outdoors and also give them knowledge and understanding to play safely. The project will measure changes in community play patterns & the success of the project will be demonstrated if more children are playing safely outdoors and together in groups.


    There is a risk that parents will be suspicious and not let their children engage with the project. We have dealt with this by building close community links with parents and schools through our community holiday playscheme and our Women's support group.

    There is a risk that children will not be adequately dressed for all-weather play. We will deal with this by purchasing a stock of anoraks, welly boots, hats, scarves and gloves, for wet and cold weather.


    We will provide a half yearly web mail report on the progress of the project to all donors. Donors will receive a copy of our annual report and will be invited to attend our annual meeting. We will also have a dedicated page on our website for the project.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £51,700

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £33,700 Play rangers 3 Play rangers x 8 hours per week x 3yrs
      £7,500 Administration Payroll, account management, finance
      £3,000 Equipment Play equipment & all-weather clothing supplies
      £7,500 Management Reporting, staff management, evaluation
  • Background


    Leith is the port area of the City of Edinburgh. Much of Leith has been re-generated with the development of water-front penthouse accommodation and Michelin star restaurants. However, the communities targeted by this project are still within the top 7% areas of deprivation in Scotland. There is a high level of family breakdown, third generation unemployment, drug & alcohol addiction and mental health problems which impacts on the daily life and lack of opportunties for local children.


    Primary aged children aged 5-11 living in the area defined as being within the top 7% areas of multiple deprivation. The main focus for play will be in the areas immediately surrounding the social housing blocks of flats and adjacent tenement flats.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    YMCA Edinburgh is already working with over 90 children in the target area through its school holiday playscheme, youth work programmes and partnership involvement in Leith Churches Together Holiday club. We also work with many of the older siblings and young carers of the children that this project will target and have established links with many local families and parents. There is no other service of this nature operating in the local community.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    YMCA Manager

    The YMCA Manager oversees all the programmes of the YMCA, recruits &manages staff, evaluates work & reports to the Board of Management and funders.

    Board Of Management

    This group of 16 volunteers has responsibility for the governance, financial management and strategic direction of the YMCA.

    Play Rangers

    The Play-rangers will deliver the outdoor play sessions with the children and establish ongoing relationships with parents and children.


Outdoor Play session for 30 children