Due to the current Corvoid 19 virus, we have postponed our Eco Play Conference on 3rd June 2020.    Watch this space for further details 



Play "Celebration" Conference 2017





Playing in a precious World




This year we focused on -

⦁ The value of play in an ever changing world
⦁ World influences on Play
⦁ Play within the context of the environment, sustainability and precious, reusable or repurposed resources.

Keynote Speaker - Ben Ward from World Jungle


We were so pleased to wlecome Ben back to Somerset Play Forum's annual conference. Ben has spoken at regional and national play events  and is an entertaining and engaging speaker. He represents World Jungle which is an award winning social enterprise all about bringing people together, creating healthier communities and sharing the best of our world.  World Jungle  run cultural and creative workshops and training programmes to inspire, motivate, educate and celebrate. Workshops for schools, staff training, holiday activity programmes, community groups and business.                                


Storyteller - Martin Maudsley


We enjoyed Martin's Stories and workshops so much last year so we have invited him back. Martin is a professional storyteller based in Dorset and working across the South West of England.  He regularly works with local and national organisations providing storytelling performances, tailored projects and creative workshops. Recent clients include: the BBC, Bristol Festival of Nature, Bristol, Paignton and Chester Zoos, Cheltenham Festival of Science, the Eden Project, English Heritage,  the Environment Agency, the National Trust, River Cottage HQ, the Soil Association, and several regional Wildlife Trusts.


All the workshops were practical and skills based so that participants had ideas to take back to their settings. Where possible we base workshops in an outdoor environment.




Inner Action - Ben Ward

This workshop focussed upon  engaging with issues affecting the world. It included techniques for empowering people to find a way to tap into what’s is important to them to bring about change.


Ben is a very experienced workshop leader with a range of skills. As a founder member of World Jungle  he has experience of  running cultural and creative workshops to inspire, motivate, educate and celebrate.   IN addition to this workshop  Ben has knowledge of Circus /Slacklining, Dance, Outdoorplay/ Bushcraft and wild play, carnival arts etc.

Incorporating stories  into play - Martin Maudsley

​Thie workshop worked with storytelling techniques and the natural environment, to give  ideas about how you can help children  and young people understand the world around them

With a professional background in ecology, Martin has a particular passion for storytelling outdoors and with nature themes, especially trees and woodlands. He delivers sessions for school groups combining storytelling with environmental education, and has worked with a wide range of local groups and national organisations as a storyteller and facilitator using stories for creative engagement with the local environment and the natural world.



Recycled Sculpture Workshop - Peter Magerum

Made interactive sculptures using recycled items, screws, nuts and bolts and wire. The sculptures  included moving parts and sound making/musical features.
The sculptures were either free-standing, hand-held or suitable for hanging as mobiles.

Peter is an experienced artist who regulalry works with schools and community groups on  art and sculpture  themes.He has  run visual art workshops for Teacher’s conferences (South Gloucestershire Council; Bristol Education Action Zone), and Inset sessions for Weston Education Action Zone. Also worked with students on art degree courses.

Transferable Art techniques - Laura Kayley

New Ideas with Paint. Participants learned a range of brush strokes and painting techniques used in different cultures that they could incorporate into  art projects with children,  e.g.Gypsy and  barge painting, Cave Painting  - Expressive Art  - Stamping - with natural  textures.

Laura is a professional facepainter and T- shirt designer.In addition to art techniques Laura is skilled in fibre crafts, knitting, crochet,  felting, Jewellery making and bleach dying. She has previously lead workshops for various community and childrens groups and for the National youth parliament.

Drama Games for Communication - Laura Burrow

A drama based workshop that gave the opportunity to learn and experience games to build confidence and self-esteem. The workshop focussed on  thinking outside the box and  being responsive to an individual’s needs.The games involved role play, putting oneself in the shoes of someone from a different country and culture, utilising natural materials and exploring ways to understand sustainability and the environment from a grass roots level.

Laura is an actress, writer, performer, musician (violin, recorder, singer) and maker of bags and other crafty things.  She runs Ta-Daa! Drama, music and dance workshops for children.

Introduction to Whitling - Daniel Best

In this workshop Daniel taught the baics of this woodland craft. Whitling is  the craft of carving shapes and designs into raw wood.using knives. The workshop included  some practical whitling experience as well as  safety  advice and instruction for leading this activity with children and young people.

Daniel is a qualified Early Years, Play work and Forest School practitioner. he has worked in these areas for over 20 years and has delivered several workshops at the National playwork conference and Play England's "Explorig nature Play project".




World Mask Making - Darrell Wakelam

Masks provide an integral part of the storytelling tradition of almost every known culture and civilisation. They are used to ward off danger, to retell legends and stories and to communicate with the natural or spirit worlds. e.g. Japanese theatre, Aztec gods, Egyptian death masks, Greek tragedy, Native American totems, Venetian masquerades etc

This ‘Mask Making’ workshop could be adapted to suit all age groups and abilities. The workshop incorporated cheap, easily available materials and techniques that were straightforward and fun to learn.

Darrell has spent over 25 years devising and delivering art workshops in Schools, Museums, Theatres and other educational establishments.
These workshops have included training sessions for teachers, PGCE students, play workers, support staff and children of all ages and abilities.


Photos from our Play Celebration - 2017 conference