Latest news

Map helps to seek out playgrounds

Monday, August 1, 2011

A new online map has been launched to help parents find their nearest park or playground.

SwingsPlay England has launched the map after a survey found 60% of parents would like to see their children play outside more.

However the poll revealed one in seven do not know where their nearest park or playground is.

It also found that one in four parents are worried for the safety of their children, despite many being desperate to be out playing on their bikes or with friends.

Some 2,000 parents of children under 16 were polled by Savlon and Play England, along with 2,000 children between six and 15.

Adrian Voce, co-director of Play England, said: "We need to ensure that all children can access local green spaces to play, enabling them to have everyday adventures outside.

"To do this we need to support parents to help them feel confident to let children play out."

Scheme 'to help teens find work'

Friday, July 29, 2011

A new scheme has been launched to help young people from disadvantaged backgrounds find a job and become successful young people after leaving school.

David CameronPrime Minister David Cameron's Big Society Capital will also help young people get into education thanks to an investment of £600 million over the coming months.

It is thought young carers, young runaways and children who have been victims of bullying could be among those to benefit from the scheme.

The project is being backed by the big four UK high street banks - HSBC, Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), Lloyds and Barclays - who are investing £200 million. The remaining £400 million will come from bank accounts that are no longer being used.

Under the scheme financial organisations will be able to support charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups. Children will be taught the basic skills and given the support they need to find work when they leave school by the Private Equity Foundation thanks to the first investment from The Big Lottery Fund.

Sir Ronald Cohen, non-executive chairman of Big Society Capital, said that the scheme could help get to grips with homelessness while also lending support to families and helping job-hunting teenagers find work.

Teenage diver's Olympic pool plunge

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Teenage diving sensation Tom Daley has become the first person to plunge into the new London Olympic Aquatics Centre's diving pool.

DiverTeam GB's Tom is hoping to win a gold medal at the Games next year as he takes part in diving events at the centre, which cost £269 million.

Synchronised swimmers from Team GB also took part in the christening ceremony for the pool with a routine performed to a Queen soundtrack. Local children also got the chance to do several lengths at the pool.

The centre was designed by architect Zaha Hadid, and has a very striking wave-like roof.

International Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge said he was "very happy" about the Aquatics Centre. He said: "London has done a great job. I am confident that London will deliver a great Games."

Twins achieve 45 girl Guide badges

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Super Guide sisters Abby and Bethany Williams have achieved 45 badges thanks to a healthy dose of sibling rivalry, they have revealed.

Two girl guidesThe 15-year-old twins have mastered camping, party planning, language interpretation and chocolate studies to achieve a full house of badges.

The sisters, from Gravesend in Kent, say that they were spurred on by sibling rivalry.

But rather than being a negative thing, their competitive spirit has helped to turn them into better Guides and highly successful young people.

They also hope that their newly acquired skills can benefit them in later life, they added while visiting the Guide headquarters in Buckingham Palace Road, central London.

Bethany said: "We have been a bit competitive because when we started she was ahead in the number of badges she had, but then after a while I had caught up and then overtook her."

Over three years the twins have achieved a number of badges including the highest honour available to Guides, the Baden-Powell Award, and the prestigious Commonwealth Award.

Of their badges they enjoyed achieving holiday and camping the most, while the most difficult was the interpretation, they said.

Teens given Olympics opportunity

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

More than 2,000 16 to 18-year-olds are going to get the chance to volunteer at the London 2012 Olympic Games, it has been revealed.

Organisers have announced plans for 250 teams of Young Games Makers to work alongside official adult volunteers.

It is hoped that this will allow teenagers who are already involved with sport the opportunity to closely observe the best in the world, while also providing a great chance for others to develop their CVs or get into sport for the first time.

London 2012's Jean Tomlin explained that the plan has been designed "to harness young people's enthusiasm" and Olympics Minister Hugh Robertson said it will allow youngsters to "gain a valuable addition to their CV".

The search has already begun for youngsters - aged 16 or over on July 1, 2012 and under 18 on January 1, 2012 - to fill the team volunteer positions.

Applicants will be selected on whether their skills are suited to a specialist role in the events for young people - such as being a water polo ball retriever - or a general role.

A number of organisations will oversee the plans for the specialist roles, while general role applications can be completed online from September 22, 2011 to October 31, 2011 at

A team leader such as a teacher, youth group leader or coach has to complete all applications. They will then provide support for youngsters throughout, during the selection process, training and the Games itself.