Emergency Play Parcels (2020)

Neighbourhood Play Havens (2020)

Camp Build

Play Works (2015-20)

 

PROJECT: Emergency Play Parcels

FUNDER: The National Lottery Community Fund, distributed by City Bridge Trust through the London Community Response Fund.

DATES: July/December 2020


Play was an early casualty of the coronavirus pandemic. Children’s lives were stopped in their tracks: schools and playgrounds closed, families were confined to their homes and social interaction all but ceased.  London Play swung into action.

Although the explosion in food poverty is a widely-recognised consequence of the coronavirus pandemic; play deprivation is the less visible tragedy for the capital’s 1.8m children.  For the 37 per cent of children already living in poverty, or the 22 per cent living in overcrowded homes, the deprivation is even more acute.

London Play’s Emergency Play Parcels were put together at warp speed to alleviate the suffering of children who had been denied the simple opportunity of playing with their friends.

The parcels included a unique deck of 52 playing cards produced by the team at London Play, each describing a game or activity to be played at home or even over the phone with relatives or friends. Small and simple props to support the games they describe, such as chalk, balloons, drawing materials and minifigures, are included in the box.

Thanks to two rounds of funding from The National Lottery Community Fund (TNLCF) Covid-19 Response Fund,  some 5,000 parcels were distributed in two swathes (in July and December 2020) to families most in need via adventure playgrounds and food banks. Most of the capital’s 80 unique adventure playgrounds are located in lower income neighbourhoods where children are most likely to be suffering the worst impacts of the pandemic. These safe, staffed community hubs had been forced to close their gates for play, but many rose to the challenge presented by the pandemic and began distributing food and more for people in need.

 

Current work
Get yourself a pocketful of pandemic proof play - now available in two great themes. All profits go to making better London childhoods.
London Play Press Releases
Children are the invisible victims of the coronavirus pandemic. As lockdown eases, it is time to prioritise their right to play.
Current work
2021: The Play Street Carousel is a unique project that harnesses the power of play to strengthen bonds between neighbours, even as the pandemic keeps us all apart.

FIND A PLACE TO PLAY

Click here to go to our play map and find adventure playgrounds, play streets and all our other favourite places to play in London.
VISIT OUR PLAY MAP
 

PROJECT: Neighbourhood Play Havens

FUNDER: The National Lottery Communities Fund

DATES: July-December 2020


Play was an early casualty of the coronavirus pandemic. Children’s lives were stopped in their tracks: schools and playgrounds closed, families were confined to their homes and social interaction all but ceased.  London Play swung into action.

Following the first lockdown, adventure playgrounds were forced to open only to limited numbers of children, who were usually required to book in advance.

Open access adventure play became a thing of the past.

Excluded were those living in families with clinical vulnerabilities; children unable to access or navigate booking systems and many others.

Funding from the Coronavirus Community Support Fund, distributed by The National Lottery Community Fund, enabled London Play to ensure that adventurous play was within their reach.

The Neighbourhood Play Havens project funded adventure playgrounds to open to individual families for weekly private play sessions; or to offer additional ‘bubble’ sessions for children that had been unable to book into their core offer.

Three case studies can be downloaded below.

 

 

Pearson Street Play Havens
Islington Play Havens
Haringey Play Haven
Adventure play
OK, so WE KNOW that adventure playgrounds are worth their weight in gold. Our Play Works project (2015-20) supported play workers to make sure they had the evidence to convince potential funders of the same.
Current work
2021: The Play Street Carousel is a unique project that harnesses the power of play to strengthen bonds between neighbours, even as the pandemic keeps us all apart.
London Play Press Releases
With residential camps on hold for now, Camp Build has gone on tour to bring the unique building adventure to playgrounds across the capital.

FIND A PLACE TO PLAY

Click here to go to our play map and find adventure playgrounds, play streets and all our other favourite places to play in London.
VISIT OUR PLAY MAP
 

PROJECT: Camp Build

FUNDER: Mayor of London’s Young London Inspired Fund

DATES: Three years 2018-2021


In each of the three years, Camp Build was to host three ‘build in the wild’ weekend camps for 11-15-year olds who like building stuff (go-karts, tree-houses, ramps etc.), or wanted to learn how.

Groups were to be chosen from London adventure playgrounds, many located the capital’s least affluent neighbourhoods.

The camps aimed to give young people skills that they could use when they returned to their playgrounds, to help with the upkeep and development of the site. Each camp catered for up to 20 young people and funded two playworkers from each playground to accompany their group.

 

 

 

In 2019 three camps were held in May, June and September at Debden House Campsite on the edge of Epping Forest. Participating groups came from Bethwin and Triangle Adventure Playgrounds in Lambeth; Three Acres and Talacre playgrounds in Camden; and Somerford Grove and Pearson Street Adventure Playgrounds in Haringey and Hackney. Creations included a treehouse, banquet table, go karts and even some five star accommodation for rabbits. You can read the end of year report to find out more.

In 2020… well, we all know what happened in 2020! Coronavirus put a stop to camping in Epping Forest but London Play was determined that children (who had already suffered so much during lockdown) would not miss out. Camp Build on Tour took materials, support crew and plenty of joie de vivre to adventure playgrounds and worked directly with children in their ‘bubbles’ to build extra outdoor shelters and playground improvements on sites where all the action was happening outdoors.

Finally in 2021 the triumphant return to Epping Forest. The week-long finale extravaganza saw three adventure playground groups hailing from Merton’s Acacia, Camden’s Three Acres and Newham’s Arc in the Park coming together to build structures, friendships and memories under the sun and stars.

Check out the Camp Build promotional film below:

 

We are grateful for the additional support provided by the following funders, which enabled us to open the Camp Build opportunity to more children:

  • ExPat Foundation
  • Worshipful Company of Weavers
  • Worshipful Company of Secretaries
  • Worshipful Company of Insurers
  • Makers of Playing Cards Charity

Thank you all!

Camp Build overview
Camp Build Year One
Camp Build handbook
Camp Build 2021: Case study
London Play Press Releases
With residential camps on hold for now, Camp Build has gone on tour to bring the unique building adventure to playgrounds across the capital.
Adventure play
OK, so WE KNOW that adventure playgrounds are worth their weight in gold. Our Play Works project (2015-20) supported play workers to make sure they had the evidence to convince potential funders of the same.
Current work
2021: The Play Street Carousel is a unique project that harnesses the power of play to strengthen bonds between neighbours, even as the pandemic keeps us all apart.

FIND A PLACE TO PLAY

Click here to go to our play map and find adventure playgrounds, play streets and all our other favourite places to play in London.
VISIT OUR PLAY MAP
 

Funder: City Bridge Trust

OK, so WE KNOW that adventure playgrounds are worth their weight in gold. But the Play Works project aimed to make sure potential funders could see this too!

Play Works was an exciting joint project between London Play and adventure playground organisations –  developing tools, techniques and resources to monitor, evaluate and sustain London’s unique and precious adventure playgrounds.

Phase I of the project kicked off in 2015 and supported staff in 12 of London’s adventure playgrounds to develop their own systems of monitoring and evaluation. Useable, fun and most importantly, work for adventure play staff, they have been able to demonstrate the huge positive impact they have on the communities they serve.

Play Works II was originally envisaged as a face to face training programme for managers of adventure playgrounds, taking the monitoring and evaluation tools developed during the first phase of the project and embedding them at a senior level.

However it soon became apparent that this was not what was needed most. Management staff across the sector lacked the capacity to take time away from the very immediate pressures of operations and neverending funding applications. So the question became: “How can this project best equip and support adventure playgrounds while demanding very little in terms of commitment from time-stretched staff?”

A new website, which celebrates adventure playgrounds, their value to their communities and London as a global leader for adventure play, is now in development. Scheduled for launch in spring 2021, the site will also feature a members’ area where play workers, volunteers and other adventure playground staff can access online training resources, tools, information and support. With many of these resources commissioned from playgrounds that have successfully used them in practice, we hope that the site, as it develops, will become a valuable source of support and inspiration to anyone with an interest in adventure play.

Find out more by getting in touch with Chrissy Baxter via chrissy@londonplay.org.uk.

And watch this space!

Play Works II application
Play Works II FAQs
London Play Press Releases
Two thirds of London's adventure playground organisations report that they are now delivering new services, with many becoming vital hubs for food distribution.
Adventure play
Camp Build is a three-year project funded by the Mayor of London’s Young London Inspired Fund. 2021 will see the grand finale over 10 days in August.
London Play events
27-29 July 2021: As in 2020, this year's Together A-Kart will be bringing the excitement of London Play's two annual hotly-anticipated build and race go kart events to a playground near you!

LONDON: ADVENTURE PLAYGROUND CAPITAL OF THE WORLD

Visit our dedicated site to find out more about London's iconic and magical adventure playgrounds. Plus tools and resources for play workers
VISIT LONDON ADVENTURE PLAYGROUNDS