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Cork Independent


Play is the only way

Wednesday, 1st April, 2020 5:18pm

UCC will play a key role in a new, multi-million euro programme aiming to bring play back into the lives of children across Europe.

P4PLAY looks to address the challenges that many children face in play deprivation due to poverty, disabilities, migration, age or gender.

The €2.2m EU-funded programme is a collaboration between the Departments of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy from four academic institutions, with UCC as the coordinating university.

The programme is also made up of fifteen partner organisations including NGOs and advocacy groups from across Europe.

By developing a child-centred research programme, P4PLAY hopes to address issues of play deprivation through four key areas: people, place, policy and practice (P4PLAY).

Last week, the consortium held its first network-wide meeting online to officially initiate the implementation of the new programme.

“We believe that P4PLAY will have radiating affects throughout Europe opening play opportunities for children who are at risk of play deprivation,” said Dr Helen Lynch, P4PLAY Coordinator at the Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy at UCC.

She added: “Through this grant we will develop a sustained occupational science PhD devoted to furthering knowledge about play and its affirming effect on individuals, communities and society.”

P4PLAY contributes to the European Research Area (ERA) by helping overcome the gap between occupational therapy practice and research by providing innovative PhD educational opportunities that are currently not available in many countries across the EU.

The programme aims to establish a new generation of early stage researchers who can translate and implement innovative and entrepreneurial play solutions to benefit the health and wellbeing of children, families, and communities.

Recruitment for eight fully funded PhD positions has commenced with a start date for the programme in late August 2020. For more on the P4PLAY programme visit

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