What we do

Life should be enjoyed

We are an Isle of Man registered Charity, founded in May 2018.  We promote, provide and advocate for opportunities for all children on the Island to fulfil their ‘Right to Play’. 

It’s no secret that children’s play has declined significantly in our communities.  When you look outside how many children do you see playing in your street and local park without a supervising adult?  This decline is due in part to increased levels of traffic, perceptions around safety and stranger danger and changing social expectations about children and parenting.  This decline is to the detriment of children and their communities and we have a vision to give children back their childhoods and make the Isle of Man the greatest place in the world for children to play and grow.

Why play?

Play is how children navigate and experience the world and best of all it’s great fun!  It’s also vitally important to their health and wellbeing… it’s no coincidence that the decline in children’s play has coincided with deteriorating levels of mental health and increased levels of childhood obesity.  Play is directly linked to positive physical, emotional and mental health and we want every child on the Isle of Man to be able to access great play opportunities on their doorstep.

“The opposite of play is not work — it is depression” (Brian Sutton-Smith)

This year we will work with over 10,000 children, so come and join us in celebrating a philosophy of play and happiness.  In a world full of pressure, we are working (and playing) tirelessly to make sure that the children of the Isle of Man have the most enjoyable, free-range and playful time of their lives!

Mission Statement

Isle of Play’s vision is to work with local communities to promote and provide opportunities for all children on the Isle of Man to fulfil their Right to Play (Article 31, United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child).

To achieve this vision, we aim to:

• Provide all children, as part of their daily lives, access to stimulating play and education opportunities in their local communities – positively impacting their physical development and social and emotional wellbeing

• Provide through a team of professional and experienced playworkers; inclusive play services, play schemes and recreational facilities that are available to all children throughout the Isle of Man, regardless of their socioeconomic circumstances

• Be passionate advocates for Children’s Right to Play and to make it a priority for decision makers at a local and Isle of Man Government level

Meet Chris Gregory

From an early age, Chris has always had a sense of adventure, just ask his mum, she’s still recovering.

Today though Chris has racked up over 20 years Playwork and Forest School experience, has developed the massively popular ‘PlayingOut’ holiday playscheme; is the figure responsible for introducing Forest Schools to the Island and has been working tirelessly to make a “proper” Adventure Playground accessible to the islands children. As well as being a popular and well recognised figure within the islands schools and communities, Chris is also an accomplished lecturer and trainer and has been leading the way with Play on the Island for 14 years.

“It’s great to be recognised for being a part of something as exciting, fun and brilliant as Isle of Play. Life should be enjoyed, I like to think we are the ‘happy charity’, bringing the best out of children, creating happy moments and instilling a joyful and playful approach to life that we hope children will carry through their whole life.”

Meet Chris King

Chris has grown up on the Island and is rarely seen without a smile on his bearded face!

With over 10 years experience in Playwork and Forest School Chris, takes a lead role in bringing the best opportunities to hundreds of children every week. Practical and affable, Chris lives and breathes Playwork and has been a regular contributor to training sessions sharing his wealth of knowledge with others to help ensure that the work Isle of Play does can reach as many children as possible.

“I can’t remember the last time I didn’t look forward to coming to work. Working with children and seeing their individuality come out through their play is one of the most fulfilling parts of my role. I cant imagine working anywhere else, and to know that I am part of making such a positive difference to the lives of so many children makes my role an absolute pleasure everyday.”

Isle of Play Charity Details

Registered Office: 131 Cronk Liauyr, Tomode Park, Douglas, Isle of Man, IM2 5LT.  Company limited by guarantee. Registered in the Isle of Man No: 132121C.  Isle of Play. Registered Charity No. 1245

Board of Directors: Maria Bridson, (Chair); Mrs Debi Michelson; Mrs Linda McCauley; Mrs Marisa Forester; Mr Robert Coole; Mr Paul Carr; Mr Jason Davis; Mrs Lynne Tonge; Mr Chris Gregory (CEO)