About Us

Life, love and laughter.

Our aim:

Every care and support setting to be full of life, love and laughter

We value:

+ The uniqueness of every person and their right to a meaningful conversation every day

+ The right to person- centred meaningful engagement with choice and control over how they spend their time

+ Activity provision which is respectful, creative, innovative and fun supported by skilled staff

We will aspire to meet our aims through:

+ Strong membership numbers
+ A mixed membership of care settings, housing with care and day care settings, with a variety of membership strands for qualified and new activity staff, service users and their families
+ Being an effective training, assessment and qualification awarding body
+ Robust finances enabling us to maintain our services and develop new ones
+ Partnerships with like-minded organisations
+ Effective internet and social media-based services and marketing
+ Setting the standard in training and leadership for activity provision
+ Leading on the development of a career path for activity provider

Hilary Woodhead

NAPA Executive Director talks about the work of NAPA.


Simon Reeve

TV Adventurer supports NAPA

Simon Reeve is the main adventure traveller on British television. He has travelled to more than 120 countries making multiple award-winning TV series for the BBC, including Caribbean, Indian Ocean, Tropic of Cancer, Equator, Sacred Rivers, Greece, Tropic of Capricorn, Turkey, Australia (Winner of the British Travel Press Award for Broadcast Travel Programme), and his new series Russia. He has received a One World Broadcasting Trust Award for “an outstanding contribution to greater world understanding”, the prestigious Ness Award from the Royal Geographical Society, and the Special Contribution Award at the Travel Media Awards.

Simon’s comment of support of NAPA:

Many care homes have moved on from just offering Bingo on Friday, but as a society we’re still a long way from seeing each and every person in care as an individual with their own wants and desires – no matter how frail they might be. It is often the little things that bring well-being and contentment. Keen readers may need a volunteer to read books to them, or an ex golfer might want to watch the Open on TV with a few beers to hand. It’s not much to ask, and it can make the world of difference to an individual’s quality of life. But personal touches are often woefully lacking in many care settings, where personal care needs are met but social needs are not. We need this to change, and we need to do better. NAPA is working hard to make a difference.’

The History of NAPA – Key events


NAPA (National Association for Providers of Activities for Older People) was founded in 1997 by a small group of like-minded people who wanted to improve the quality of activities for older people. The Trustees set about inviting similar minded people to take out membership. NAPA was incorporated into Companies House.The first newsletter was produced in 1997 and focussed on ‘Homemaking’. A small core of committed volunteers gathered research and started to produce information leaflets and reading lists to assist members to broaden their knowledge. Sharing Days were established to bring members together and regional groups supported members locally.


NAPA was registered as both a charity and limited company.


In 2003, the first national level training course was run offering a City and Guilds qualification. A grant from the Big Lottery Fund saw a 3-year project called Growing with Age come to life. This generated a well received report that focussed on developing community links.


In April 2005 the NAPA Director role was created, with Sylvie Silver filling the post. A dedicated website was launched in the summer, with a Yahoo group for the members being created at the end of the year.


2006 saw the launch of a non-accredited qualification, Provision of Activities in a Care Setting. In 2007 became a registered charity in Scotland.


In 2008 NAPA became a partner in the delivery of the Fit as a Fiddle programme, a national initiative developed by Age UK and funded by the Big Lottery Fund. As part of this initiative NAPA developed two national projects which focussed on enhancing both physical and mental well being for older people in care by supporting and training volunteers, relatives and staff.

We introduced the Annual NAPA Challenge. The Challenge was devised to encourage all care homes around the country to get involved in a specific area of work for a given week to raise the importance of that theme. The theme for the first two years was ‘Breath of Fresh Air’. The first quarterly Seasonal Inspirations magazine was published.


2009 Regional Groups were disbanded as we could no longer offer enough support from the centre either financially or in staff time. During 2010 NAPA was highly involved with developing the first accredited qualifications on the quality curriculum framework which informs the content of all training in the Health and Social Care field.

The second NAPA Challenge theme was again ‘Breath of Fresh Air’.


During 2010 NAPA was highly involved with developing the first accredited qualifications, QCF Level 2 Supporting Activity Provision in Social Care and QCF Level 3 Activity Provision in Social Care, on the quality curriculum framework, which informs the content of all training in the Health and Social Care field. In December 2010 we launched our ‘Activity Toolkit’ comprising a Training DVD and set of guidebooks that capture the NAPA philosophy. This work took two years to complete and was funded by a grant from BUPA Giving.

2010 saw the launch of the dedicated NAPA product shop part of the website. At the end of the year NAPA started a Facebook, and at the end of 2011 opened a Twitter account.

The third NAPA Challenge theme was ‘Music in the Air’, and the fourth theme was ‘Food Glorious Food’.


The fifth NAPA Challenge theme was ‘Go for Gold’ to fit in the London based Olympic Games. The first NAPA conference was held in London, entitled ‘Trained Skilled Activity Staff – The Future’, which was greatly oversubscribed and an overwhelming success.

We relocated the office from London to its current location of Amersham, enabling a more stable staff team and reducing running costs.


In 2013 the NAPA Challenge became a major element in the National Care Homes Open Day initiative. NAPA co-chairs this event and is very involved in encouraging all care homes to take part. The theme for this year’s Challenge was ‘Home and Away’

Pam Rhodes became the first NAPA Ambassador, and attends as many events as her busy schedule will allow.

The second NAPA Conference was again held in London, entitled ‘Raising the Bar for Activity Provision’. This was again oversubscribed and a great success. We launched the electronic ‘NAPA News’ in the autumn of this year.


NAPA’s name changed to National Activity Providers Association in recognition of the work carried out for all adults receiving care. There were two NAPA Conferences this year, one in Scotland – ‘Meeting the Needs of EVERY Resident’, and a second in London – ‘Activities for All’.

The theme for this year’s NAPA Challenge was ‘Around the World’, along with this we launched the first NAPA Awards. In the autumn we created a NAPA Pinterest site.


This year, we introduced the register of Activity Workers, they are expected to complete some Continuing Professional Development to maintain their place, ensuring the Register is a real indicator of professional commitment to high standards in activity provision.

The theme for this year’s Challenge was ‘Fine Dining’. Another very successful Conference was held in London – ‘What’s Love got to do With it?

Due to workload a restructure of NAPA was carried out, with Sylvie Silver taking on the role of Executive Director and Jennifer Dudley coming on board as part-time Director. We also gained another Ambassador, Janet Morrison. We entered and won the 3rd Sector Awards Contribution to Sector Development Award.


This year NAPA had a runner in The London Marathon, Jenny Askew. Jenny raised over £1,000, which was used to produce a film to promote NAPA. NAPA became a Skills for Care Endorsed Training Provider.

The theme for this year’s Challenge was ‘A Right Royal Street Party’. Another very successful Conference was held in London – ‘Activity Providers Toolkit’, with a second one in Manchester – ‘Managers and Lifestyle Leaders Working Together Towards “Outstanding” Outcomes’. The second conference was held in partnership with My Home Life.


This year we launched a new optional Learning Disability Unit within the Level 2 QCF – Understand the Context of Supporting Individuals with Learning Disabilities.

Another three conferences were held, one in Edinburgh, Scotland – ‘Activity Provision for end of life care’, the second in London – ‘Auditing the key to outstanding’ and the third in Bristol – ‘How to Connect with Your Community and Recruit Volunteers’.

The tenth NAPA Challenge was held, with a theme of ‘Carry on Singing’. We launched a year of NAPA’s 20th Birthday celebrations this year.


We entered and won the Skills for Care Accolade as the Best Endorsed Training Provider.

The 11th NAPA Challenge was held with a theme of ‘A Food Journey Around the Commonwealth’. The conference this year was held in London – ‘Getting Activity Right for Everyone’. Four open training days were held in various venues this year including Hatfield, Bournemouth, Newcastle and Exeter.

Grant funded Projects

We have attracted grants for a range of influential national projects over the years.

2002 – 2005 Big Lottery Fund Growing
with Age Project

Promoting Community Engagement with care settings

2006 – 2009 Bupa Trust Bupa Activity Toolkit

A suite of Guides and a DVD to share best practice.

2010 – 2015 Big Lottery Fund and Age UK

Fit as a Fiddle Project National partners leading Come to Tea Project in care homes to support and train volunteers and Life and Soul in Sheltered Housing schemes promoting Exercise, healthy Eating and Well Being

2010 – 2015 Big Lottery Fund and Age UK

Fit as a Fiddle Project National partners leading Come to Tea Project in care homes to support and train volunteers and Life and Soul in Sheltered Housing schemes promoting Exercise, healthy Eating and Well Being

2015 -2016 Choir Buddies – Comic Relief

The Comic Relief Project has supported 6 care homes to develop Choirs supported by professional Choirmasters. The choirs are made up of residents and staff members and they will link with a community based choir to carry out a public performance. The aim is to develop a model to share with other care homes of how a common interest, like forming a choir, can offer a focus for developing better community connections and build relationships between residents and staff.

NAPA is a registered charity in England and Wales No. 1070674 and in Scotland No. 038991. We are also a Company Limited by Guarantee No.3482943.

We are governed by a Board of Trustees. We have a small staff team based in our offices in Amersham Bucks.

We are committed to being self- funding through selling reasonably priced services to support the care sector. Our income is supplemented through donations and some fund raising activities. We also attract sponsorship for the Annual NAPA Challenge and NAPA Awards.

We aim to have at least one grant based project running at any one time. This helps us to continue to generate an evidence base for our work and to encourage innovation in the care sector.