We launched as a pilot scheme in November 1994 after seeing that no disabled children were being given the chance to enjoy play schemes or after-school clubs in the London Borough of Barnet.
So, that very Christmas, we decided to support three children in a small project and the response was amazing. Nineteen years later here we are, and how we have grown! In 2013 we gave over 34,000 hours of help and support to more than 400 local children and youngsters. We are still growing and here are a few of the areas we have previously focused on improving for our children…
One key problem we wanted to address was how disabled children and young people had difficulties attending music lessons and football clubs, two hugely important areas for fun and learning, so we proudly created this provision for them.
As the first children grew through the scheme, their needs changed; they needed youth clubs to socialise and meet great new friends. So, we worked with local partners to create the Inclusive Youth Clubs project, which allowed youth clubs to meet four times a week at different places across the Borough and organise holiday activities. We understand that going away without family can be difficult, but we have been able to provide the excitement of travelling with friends to hundreds of young people through residential short breaks.
Parents/Carers of disabled children sometimes find it difficult when they meet others in a similar situation. We now have a unique parent support programme where stories are exchanged, friendships are made, and new skills learned.
To meet all of these needs, our workforce has grown over the past 25 years. Every one of them needs the knowledge to do their very best for our children, so all our staff are taught and guided by our own comprehensive training programme. Our training sessions are becoming increasingly valued in the community too, and are attended by parents and other professionals.
In 2012 following the merger of the Inclusive Play Opportunities Project (IPOP) and Barnet Play Association we became Fair Play Barnet
In 2018 after discussion with our members, families and staff a vote was taken, and it came back overwhelmingly that everyone preferred the IPOP name, so the trustees made the decision to once again become IPOP.
IPOP is an inclusive play organisation proudly working to support children/young people up to the age of 25 years. We provide opportunities for children and young people of all abilities to play and socialise together, we offer support and information to families of disabled children and young people and raise awareness of the benefits of inclusive play provision in both play/leisure settings and more widely.
Registered UK Charity 1076063. Company Registration Number: 3707542.
IPOP’s entry on the central register of UK charities can be viewed from the Charity Commission website and further information is available from GuideStar UK.
IPOP is an inclusive play organisation proudly working to support children and young people, up to the age of 25 years, to experience activity that positively impacts on their emotional and physical health; enabling them to confidently take their place in the world.