The Everyone Can Play program commenced in 2018 and was designed to promote and support the delivery of inclusive playspaces for NSW communities. In June 2021, the Department commissioned a program evaluation to analyse the impact of the program, and identify opportunities for improvement and development beyond 2023. The evaluation comprised a Program Evaluation Report and a Community Insights Report.
The key findings revealed the following aspects:
The Everyone Can Play brand is strong
The ECP Brand is strongly recognised. Local NSW councils are significantly aware of ECP with 83% of councils having applied for grant funding (106 of the 128 NSW local councils).
The 'Can I’s' are universally understood
Inclusive design is better appreciated – participants easily grasped concepts of inclusivity within the ‘Can I?’ principles for the Everyone Can Play guideline. Participants were also able to identify examples of each of the three ‘Can I?’ principles in action in their local ECP playspace.
Quality playspaces helps to build town pride
Quality inclusive playspaces contribute to increased pride in the places people live. Community value playspaces that actively considered wider connectivity between existing community facilities were seen to have a positive impact (linked with pathways or other recreation precincts). Building town pride through upgraded playspaces have contributed to building town pride, particularly in regional locations. There is also a strong link between the Can I get there? and Can I stay? Principles with community members across two of the case study locations (Bowraville and Wellington) reporting that the playspace proximity to other community assets including playing fields, and the shops, allowed them to spend an extended period in these inclusive playspaces.
Quality playspaces forge social cohesion
Quality inclusive playspaces contribute to social cohesion by becoming key community gathering places. Upgraded playspaces have been transformed into community gathering places and destinations for formal events (see case study on Cameron Park, Wellington).
Design excellence outcomes through unique ECP process
Close collaboration between DPE and councils produces more effective and efficient design outcomes for councils. The collaborative approach between DPE and grant recipient Councils, and associated delivery partners as part of the design review process was seen to deliver playspaces that better reflect the ECP guideline and can produce more effective and efficient results for councils.