About OPAG

OPAG has been running since 1977 founded by volunteers and established as a charity in 1981. OPAG is registered as Charity Number 511463.

OPAG works with volunteers in many ways. OPAG has volunteers who work centrally using OPAG as a base and going out to different locations, getting involved with a range of community events and activities involving children. Some volunteers work regularly on one project, for example the six volunteers from Project Good Neighbour junior youth club. OPAG also works directly with established groups of volunteers to support them to extend and enhance their work with children and young people.

OPAG has 23 year round regular volunteers, with other volunteers getting involved during the school holiday periods especially the 6 week summer break.

OPAG could not hope to offer even half of this wide range of activities and events without the incredible energy and commitment of groups of volunteers working in their communities. 

OPAG has five permanent members of staff and 20 casual/sessional playworkers. Many of OPAGs current sessional staff started out as volunteers involved in community activities and then successfully applied for paid work.

OPAG recognises the valuable contribution made by volunteers through offering opportunities for training, linking them in with other opportunities, making sure we raising their profile and acknowledge their contribution to the wider community. We have several volunteer training events planned for the next 12 months and are planning a volunteer roundup and thank you event for December. 

OPAG services and activities have benefited in excess of 2,400 during the last 12 months. OPAG has offered junior youth clubs, play sessions, a National Playday event, a resource store comprising of arts materials, hire equipment and scrap store with safe waste materials from industries recycled for children’s play, play training, consultation and community celebrations. This is open to all and is not for profit.

OPAG projects have made a real difference to the participants. The Adventures in Play activities have got children and families away from the television and into the great outdoors and playing together, learning about nature and respecting the environment. These activities help to build up community identity and community spirit across the generations. We work to bring groups together from different geographical and cultural communities to increase community cohesion and promote understanding of diversity. OPAG’s National Playday last year attracted people from across Oldham’s wide range of communities and was described by the Festival of Diversity Co-ordinator as ‘the most naturally diverse event in the programme’.

Oldham Play Action Group Mission Statement

Oldham Play Action Group works with all Oldhams diverse range of communities to extend the quality and quantity of play opportunities for children throughout the borough

We are committed to equality of opportunity for children and families, and will actively seek to work in ways which are anti-discriminatory.

Involving children in the shaping of OPAG’s work

Random thoughts about how we get children more involved in what OPAG does and how we do it.
Do we want quasi-board meetings that bring children together to look at issues in an ‘adult way’ or do we run periodic ‘consultation through play activity style sessions’ that we take members of the management committee to, and do things ‘a child’s way’ or do we …….try to do a bit of both as appropriate.
Firstly, what roles are we envisaging children and/or young people have in shaping what OPAG does and how we do it.
What kind of involvement do we want children to have, what type of influence, what do we want to learn from children, are we open to challenge and doing things differently, what do we want to ask children about as a starting point? 
Which aspects of our operations do we want to try to look at first? Where can children make an impact and see something worthwhile for their input, not just a quick fix, but some way they can see results quickly which may motivate their continued involvement.
Where do we fall on the ladder of participation, where do we want to be, how do we get there, what is realistic? How can we time or phase this?
What’s in it for individual children, their groups and what’s in it for OPAG.

Open Access

OPAG Sessions are open access, this means that children are free to join in with activities as they choose and leave when they wish. The sessions do not provide childcare, but rather offer opportunities to participate in freely chosen activities.

The sessions are targeted at 8 - 13 year olds. Under eights are welcome but must be accompanied by a responsible adult.

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