Family with kids playing soccer in soccer field

• New research by the NSPCC reveals parents think play has become more important for children because of the pandemic. Over half have also said their children have been more lonely

• The NSPCC announces a new partnership with Sky’s volunteering programme Sky Cares as the business gets behind the charity’s Childhood Day on the 11th June

• The Chris Evans Breakfast Show with Sky dedicates a whole fortnight to Childhood Day with a kid’s takeover

Some 79% of parents of children aged three to twelve think playing outside will be important for their child’s wellbeing this summer – and over half say that they think their children have been more lonely, the NSPCC has found.

In addition, 68% of parents surveyed said play has become more important for their children since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This comes as the online YouGov poll of 1,036 parents with children aged three to twelve revealed that 65% said their children have played inside more since the start of the Coronavirus pandemic, and 70% have spent less time playing with friends.

As lockdown continues to ease, the NSPCC and Sky are teaming up to encourage people to play their part in giving children a great summer and a brighter future.

Sky shares this vision and as a result, has joined forces with the NSPCC to help drive and promote this very important cause. The new partnership forms a key part of the Sky Cares programme that offers Sky employees the chance to volunteer on company time and give back to their local communities. Sky will also use it platforms and reach to inspire action and increase awareness of the NSPCC’s work.

Adult family playing football with young son in garden

Sky will get behind the charity’s Childhood Day on the 11th June, which is calling on people across the UK to play, raise money and help keep children safe. But that’s just the beginning, Sky and the NSPCC will continue to work together in partnership, helping protect generations of children and raising crucial funds that support the charity’s work.

Whether you’re 5 or 85, the NSPCC is encouraging everyone to get involved on the 11th June and play with family, friends or workmates. The charity is encouraging people to sign up, download a fundraising pack and organise a play event to fundraise for the NSPCC.

Virgin Radio’s Chris Evans Breakfast Show with Sky is dedicating a whole fortnight to showing how important both fun and play are in how children explore the world – with parents encouraged to sign their children up for a kids’ takeover.

The YouGov poll revealed that during the pandemic children have done more arts and creativity including reading, drawing and painting, played more online and also played more pretend-based games like dress-up, role-play and acting-out stories.

Fully embracing Childhood Day’s play theme, Virgin Radio is quite literally ‘playing’ with the show by getting children to take over regular programme features from Monday 7th until Childhood Day on Friday 11th June.

Sky is also showing its support for Childhood Day by launching new content on Sky VIP, a brand new video tutorial featuring magician Ben Hanlin, learning a few magic tricks and encouraging families to play.

NSPCC’s CEO Peter Wanless said:

“We know the last year has been incredibly challenging for families and many children have missed out on the opportunity to play and really enjoy their childhood. Lots of children have felt lonely and isolated and have longed to be reunited with their friends and family again.
“After the year we’ve just experienced, we could all do with a bit more play and the research we are releasing today shows just how important it will be for families this summer. I’m incredibly excited to see the Sky and NSPCC partnership come to life and for Sky’s fantastic support for Childhood Day on the 11th June. Whether you’re 5 or 85, why not get involved and support Childhood Day by signing up, downloading a fundraising pack and organising a play event to raise vital funds for the NSPCC.”
Lyssa McGowan, Chief Consumer Officer at Sky said: “The NSPCC is an incredible charity and we’re excited to be embarking on this new partnership as part of our Sky Cares programme. We hope to harness the power of Sky’s platforms to increase awareness of the NSPCC’s vital work and the importance of safeguarding children.
“As a mother of three I appreciate that this has been a very challenging year for parents and children alike, I can’t wait to bring my family together on Childhood Day for a day of play that will help to keep children safe.”
Launched in 2019, Sky Cares now works with over 30 charity partners across four main focus areas: helping the homeless, alleviating loneliness, supporting young people and caring for the environment. By 2025 the Sky Cares programme aims to have volunteered 250,000 hours in the local community.

To find out more about Childhood Day and to get your free fundraising pack with lots of play ideas visit: