EXPLORING The Power of Play’s fourth Festival was held in Hampshire on Saturday, September 11.

Over 200 early years practitioners from around the nation gathered Hilton at Ageus Bowl, Botley Rd, to enjoy a festival style fun packed day of guest speakers, practical activities and to raise cash for charity.

The event raised £1,450 for the Maggie Oliver Foundation Charity, which helps survivors of abuse move on with their lives.

Maggie Oliver is best known as the Detective-turned- whistle-blower who resigned from Greater Manchester Police in late 2012 to expose the now infamous Rochdale Grooming Scandal. Her ability to connect with people and encourage them to speak out against injustice paired with her determination to expose the truth eventually led to her becoming the programme consultant on the award-winning dramatisation known as Three Girls which aired on BBC One. Maggie was also a key contributor for The Betrayed Girls documentary.

The event included live singing from Dani Wallace, workshops and guest speakers, including the legendary Alistair Bryce Clegg.

Vanessa Dooley, number one bestselling author, founder of Jigsaw Early Years Consultancy and event organiser has spent over 25 years working with children or with people who work with children, ranging from a research nursery nurse at a local hospital to managing 6 outstanding settings in Hampshire to ofsted inspector.

In 2018 Vanessa authored ‘Are you ready for your inspection?’ and became the trainer of the “Are you ready for your inspection?” online programme.

She said: “It is vital as practitioners that we take a moment and really observe how and what it has changed, what has slowly slipped or navigated a new way. At the end of the day, we all care about the wellbeing of the next generation, and we owe it to ourselves and the children to make sure our eyes are firmly open and ready to tackle this ever-changing world.”