News

Here’s the lowdown on what’s happening right now with play in London… along with news from beyond the M25 that might affect how, where and how often children play within its confines. For news direct to your inbox, sign up at the bottom of the page for our (quarterly-ISH)  London Playwire.

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Play news
The Mayor of Barnet has opened a new inclusive and accessible playground at Victoria Recreation Ground in East Barnet enabling people of all ages and abilities to play together.

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London Play Press Releases
Vote for the playground most in need of LOVE! Deadline midnight Valentine's Day Wednesday 14 February.

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Play news
More than 82,000 children living in temporary accommodation in London risk losing their ability to play – blocking their development and storing up “catastrophic” problems for them in later life, leading experts have told the i newspaper.

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Play news
Proximity to accessible greenspaces increases local social cohesion, according to a four city European study involving over 1,300 people.

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Play news
As inflation halts housebuilding projects the Guardian has highlighted the issue of play spaces being sacrificed and abandoned when new developments go wrong.

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Play news
London's new charter for inclusion will entitle all educations settings in London to free access to UNICEF UK’s Rights Respecting Schools Award programme for the next four years. Schools will gain recognition for putting the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child into practice within the school and beyond.

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Play news
Marking 10 years since the Play Sufficiency Duty was introduced in Wales, Play Wales has published a preview of its upcoming literature review, looking at the links between play and wellbeing.

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Play news
Being involved in play streets has changed people's perceptions of street use, improved children's health and created stronger communities, according to a national survey.

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Play news
An extra 56,000 children in England are leaving primary school obese due to habits embedded during the pandemic, a large study has found.

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Play news
A coalition of children's charities is calling for children's needs to be prioritised by the next government.

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Play news
The former children's commissioner for England, Anne Longfield, has launched a new think tank aimed at giving children and their families the best outcomes possible.

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Play news
Labour's Child Health Action Plan commits the party to adopting a 'prevention first' approach but omits any mention of play.

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London Play Press Releases
London Play is on the hunt again for London's saddest playgrounds

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Play news
Children with more green space near their homes have significantly stronger bones, a study has found, potentially leading to lifelong health benefits.

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London Play Press Releases
London Play's submission to the government inquiry into the experiences of children and young people in the built environment.

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London Play Press Releases

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Play news
The Scottish parliament has voted unanimously for Scotland to become the first devolved nation to incorporate the UN charter on the rights of the child (UNCRC) into domestic law. 

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London Play Press Releases
A Hackney adventure playground has ‘outplayed’ others from across the capital to win the title of London Adventure Playground of the Year 2023. Shakespeare Walk Adventure Playground was one of 16 shortlisted in the London Adventure Play Awards last week to join the hotly-anticipated annual event run by the charity London Play.

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Play news
A study by the LEGO Group has revealed that a third of children globally are spending less time playing a week than most adults spend scrolling on their smartphones per day.

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London Play in the news
This weekend, dozens of residential streets in London will become temporary play areas, reports Londonist.

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London Play Press Releases
Spacehopper will be the only way to travel on more than 100 streets in London over Car Free Day weekend this month.

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Play news
A survey of parents and carers for disabled children has found that only four per cent have been able to find holiday clubs which meet their needs this summer.

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Play news
A newly built playground at Hainault Forest is now open, marking the final phase of a £ 1.7m investment programme to improve and transform play areas across the borough of Redbridge.

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London Play in the news
London Play has joined more than 40 of the UK’s leading children’s charities and child development experts in issuing a warning to the Covid-19 Inquiry chair of “unacceptable delays” to taking evidence from children on lockdown.

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Play news
A report from Play England shows that children playing out on their street regularly brings big benefits for their health and wellbeing - but are increasingly being prevented from doing so by parents worried about upsetting the neighbours.

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Play news
The Guardian reports that playgrounds around England are falling to pieces, missing large pieces of play equipment, or simply being locked up, as councils facing huge budget cuts struggle to maintain them.

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Play news
The Children's Commissioner is on the hunt for 16 and 17 year olds  - and particularly those in challenging circumstances - to join a programme which aims to put young voices at the heart of government decision-making.

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Play news
Parents and educators recognise the benefits of nature play but despite this, many try to dissuade children from play which is perceived as risky or messy, research from Australia shows.

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London Play Press Releases
Londoners are being invited to ‘swap their cars for spacehoppers’ this September, when at least 200 streets across the capital are hoped to transform into temporary play spaces in celebration of Car Free Day.

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London Play in the news
The Guardian has shone a spotlight on one of the campaigns London Play is supporting through the Communities United for Play initiative: in Lewisham,  parents and children are angry that developers have firstly taken over the only playground in the area, and then failed to reopen it as promised.

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Play news
There are around 900 parks friends groups in London involving 100,000 volunteers. Many are instrumental in driving forward improvements to play facilities but some boroughs are missing out according to a CPRE London report. 

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London Play in the news
The past decade has seen a revival in 1970s-style “playing out”, as kids reclaim our roads. Here’s the Evening Standard guide on which London boroughs are on board and how to do it yourself.

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Play news
London Play was sad to hear of the death earlier this year of Donne Buck, playworker, campaigner and archivist of children's play.

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Play news
London Play is one of a coalition of children’s charities calling on the government to urgently put children at the heart of its agenda, following a critical United Nations report on children’s rights in the UK.

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London Play Press Releases
London Play’s biggest survey of councils in the capital for a decade finds that while many are building new playgrounds, funding for their preservation and maintenance is simply not keeping up.

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Play news
New Scottish planning rules mark a significant step towards incorporating children's right to play into law and practice - leaving England lagging behind

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Play news
Londoners who let their children play out are receiving warning letters from councils, threats from neighbours and visits from the police according to responses to a Guardian survey.

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Play news
A Guardian report highlights that families are being pushed out of central London, hollowing out the inner city and leaving both inner and outer boroughs struggling to adapt to huge changes in their demographics.

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London Play Press Releases
Two south London playgrounds have been jointly named ‘London’s Saddest Playground’ in a public vote. Bromley’s Crystal Palace Park and Leyton Square in Southwark were deemed the playgrounds ‘most in need of love’ on Valentine’s Day, earlier this month.

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London Play Press Releases
VOTE for London's Saddest Playground! Which playground do you think is most in need of love this year?

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London Play in the news
Lewisham Council has approved a new five-year play strategy developed by London Play. The document sets out an ambition to make Lewisham a more child-friendly borough.

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Play news
A Japanese study has found that outdoor play can mitigate some of the negative impacts of excessive screen time in young children.

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London Play Press Releases
Is your local play area in need of some luuurve? London Play is on the hunt for London’s saddest playground – so we can help you turn it around in 2023.

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Play news
A report from London Sport reveals that fewer than half of young Londoners are doing enough physical activity - and suggests that the prohibitive cost of after school activities and sports clubs is likely to exacerbate this in the face of the cost-of-living crisis.

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London Play Press Releases
28/10/22: Islington’s Waterside Adventure Playground was named London’s Adventure Playground of the Year 2022 and Lewisham’s Ashwater Road took the gong for Play Street of the Year at a noisy celebration in London’s West End yesterday. Adventure playgrounds in Richmond, Lambeth, Haringey and Hackney also won awards.

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Play news
Fewer children are playing out on their streets than ever before, new research reveals, as a leading child psychologist warns of the negative impact this could have on child mental health.

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Play news
The Commission on Young Lives has recommended the roll out of a major programme of social prescribing for mental health wellbeing, enabling GPs and health professionals to pay for youth activities such as sport, art music and drama.

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London Play in the news
UK: National charity Family Action has teamed up with Fisher Price Play lab to support families to play together over the  summer.

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Play news
26/07/22: As the country sweltered in record heats last week, some playgrounds became no-go areas with metal slides reaching temperatures of over 71 degrees.

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Play news
The Children's Alliance is calling for a National UK Strategy for Play to support the emotional recovery and resilience of children affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

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Play news
Children from a Hackney primary school have staged an after school protest in their fight for the right to play in a local park during break times.

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London Play Press Releases
Riders on (inflatable) horseback brought some regal silliness to Rigdale Road's Jubilee street party in June.

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Play news
Children who play together well at age three consistently show fewer signs of mental health difficulties at age seven, regardless of potential confounding factors such as poverty levels and maternal distress.

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Play news
The charity Scope is calling on the government to set up a £37m fund to make sure all children, regardless of ability, can use playgrounds.

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Play news
Families across England are set to make history as they join the first new national birth cohort study of babies to be launched in more than two decades,

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Play news
Children who spend more time engaged in adventurous play involving an element of risk have fewer symptoms of anxiety and depression, according to research that found the effect was more pronounced among children from lower income families.

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London Play Press Releases
Children will be begging their parents to visit older relatives this autumn thanks to a pioneering partnership between Hallmark Care Homes Foundation and London Play.

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Play news
A new report from the Early Intervention Foundation argues that the Covid-19 pandemic has “negatively impacted” children’s physical development.

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Play news
Southwark residents marched on council offices to protest against proposed infill developments that they say will rob existing residents of space for play as well as natural light and recreation opportunities.

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Play news
Tower Hamlets' Mayor John Biggs has spoken out about how vital play is for children as we emerge from the worst of the pandemic, as a new playground at Millwall Park opens.

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Play news
One in four 10-11 year olds is now classified as obese, following a year in which children spent weeks in lockdown and representing an unprecedented single year increase in childhood obesity levels.

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London Play Press Releases
The Garfield Weston Foundation has thrown its support behind a play-led recovery for children in London over the coming year, with a generous £20,000 grant to London Play. 

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London Play Press Releases
Islington’s Barnard Adventure Playground has been named London’s Adventure Playground of the Year today as the hotly anticipated annual event returned to the West End with a squeal and a roar (and a few rude squelchy sounds too)!

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Play news
Record numbers of children and young people are being referred to mental health services for crisis and non-crisis care, as the toll of the pandemic on the country’s mental health is revealed in a new analysis by the Royal College of Psychiatrists.

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London Play Press Releases
A fortnight of ‘Formula Fun’ go kart building excitement will kick off in The Regent’s Park this weekend, where the charity London Play is staging the first in a series of pop-up events for children across central London this summer.

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London Play in the news
London is set to become 'Britain's biggest playground' this summer as mayor Sadiq Khan launches a search for five special kids to become London's first Mayors of Play and London Play brings 'Formula Fun' go kart action to the city streets.

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London Play Press Releases
London Play has supported a successful resident-led campaign to overturn a decision by Croydon Council to introduce charges for children playing in the street.

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London Play Press Releases
London Play is one of  many organisations behind a campaign to ensure that every child has the space, time, and freedom to play this summer as Covid-19 restrictions are eased. Can you sign the #SummerOfPlay pledge?

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London Play in the news
London Play will be bringing joy back to the city streets this summer as part of the Mayor's 'Let's Do London' campaign, to encourage Londoners and visitors back into the capital.

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Play news
The number of children seeking help for mental health problems increased by 28% during the pandemic, new figures have revealed.

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Play news
The Scottish government has pledged £20m in funding to ensure that children have a Summer of Play to help address the impacts associated with extended periods of isolation and reduced participation in normal activities.

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Play news
The team behind Hackney Playbus has raised more than £30,000 to build a new travelling play centre to provide free support to the borough’s children and families.

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Play news
A national ‘observatory’ of children’s play experiences during Covid-19 is being led by academics at UCL and the University of Sheffield.

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Play news
Four out of five parents support education catch up policies to support their children's wellbeing according to the IFS.

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Play news
Parents are worried that the loss of freedom to play during the pandemic could have a long term impact on their children.

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London Play Press Releases
As children return to school today after an enforced absence of more than two months, the sacrifices that they have made during the coronavirus pandemic are high on the public radar.

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London Play in the news
London Play has joined academics and other play campaigners in calling on the government to support 'a summer of play' to help children recover from the stress of lockdown and a year of Covid upheaval.

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London Play Press Releases
Dear Boris, please prioritise children’s wellbeing during this third lockdown in England.

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London Play Press Releases
Three London adventure playgrounds that went to extraordinary lengths to keep children playing – and in some cases, fed too – during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic were yesterday announced as joint winners of the coveted London Adventure Playground of the Year Award

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London Play Press Releases
From Monday 14 September, it will be illegal in England, unless at school or work, for someone to meet more than five other people at a time. What does this mean for play streets?

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London Play Press Releases
Inviting groups of children from across London to converge in a field, rub shoulders designing and building go karts from scratch, and then race them side by side was a BIG no-no this year. But London Play found a way to make the hotly-anticipated go kart events happen

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London Play Press Releases
London Play has won nearly £100k in funding to support adventure playgrounds and ensure the capital’s most vulnerable children can enjoy a summer of play.

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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.

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London Play Press Releases
Most play street organisers are ready to consider reopening their streets for play - if councils give the green light, according to a survey by London Play.

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London Play Press Releases
London Play is calling on local authorities to restart play streets from July 4th.

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London Play Press Releases
Thousands of families visiting adventure playground foodbanks across the capital this week will be picking up parcels of joy along with their food staples thanks to the capital’s leading play charity.

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London Play Press Releases
The harm caused to children by keeping adventure playgrounds closed is now beginning to outweigh the risks of opening them, says a leading expert in health and safety.

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London Play in the news
Connecting children to public space outdoors had a watershed moment when Richard Louv published his now classic Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder. A new handbook on designing public space for children shares examples of how marginalised children are being successfully connected with the outdoors; and includes a chapter from

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London Play Press Releases
The summer holidays are coming. The government must prioritise children’s needs and issue guidance for summer play providers now. 

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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.

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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.

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London Play in the news
Adventure playgrounds may have closed their gates, but they have not closed the door on their ‘playing customers’, London’s children.

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London Play in the news
The most happening adventure playground in London is ELHAP in Redbridge, it was announced today

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London Play Press Releases
More than four square kilometres of temporary play space was created in an instant last month as Londoners came out to play on their car free streets.

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London Play in the news
Residents are being encouraged to set up traffic-free ‘play streets’ outside their homes. The £100,000 a year project will allow people to close streets from traffic for up to four hours during daylight, allowing children to play in the public space close to their homes.

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London Play Press Releases
School grounds should be 'as safe as necessary', not 'as safe as possible' asserts a new declaration from the international School Grounds Alliance.

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London Play Press Releases
LAMBETH: BIG KID Foundation is poised to sign a 10-year lease on Dexter Adventure Playground in Brixton.

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London Play Press Releases
Parents told a parliamentary hearing on holiday hunger about struggling families where parents have to stop working during the school holidays or pay crippling additional childcare costs up front.

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Play news
ISLINGTON: A revamp of a once-neglected Georgian garden square in Barnsbury, Islington, by LDA Design, has won the Children’s Play category in the annual Street Design Awards.

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Play news
Withdrawing play time from school children as punishment is an infringement of children's human rights and is a practice which should be stopped, says the British Psychological Society.

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Play news
LAMBETH: Lambeth Council has laid out proposals to transform the commissioning of youth and play support services in the borough, including winding down the Young Lambeth Cooperative.

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London Play in the news
LONDON: As many as half a dozen housing developments across London – most of them relatively new – separate play areas for richer and poorer children

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Play news
TOWER HAMLETS: Play time has extended onto the street for two schools in Tower Hamlets

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Play news
Enjoyment is the single biggest factor in motivating children to be active according to new research.

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Play news
LONDON: The five councils that have made the biggest cuts to children's services since 2010 are in London according to a new analysis

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London Play Press Releases
£13m in funding for parks is welcome but does not go far enough to offset years of decline.

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Play news
LONDON: Leading insurer Zurich has promised to review its decision to withdraw insurance cover from two of the capital's adventure playgrounds.

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Play news
The Children’s Play Policy Forum has issued a policy statement identifying a crisis in childhood and calling for more children’s play opportunities.

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London Play Press Releases
NEWHAM: Almost £1.2m is to be spent on upgrading West Ham Park playground and installing a new water play area.

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London Play Press Releases
LONDON: Around £400,000 has been awarded to 29 London primary schools to fund new green barriers to protect children from toxic air in school playgrounds.

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Play news
A research report claims to show for the first time, a strong link between recreational screen time and children’s inactivity.

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London Play Press Releases
Continuous rain failed to put a damper on yesterday’s All London Go Kart Build and Race as children from across London proved that they are anything but a ‘cotton wool generation’.

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Play news
A study has unearthed a link between the quality and quantity of green space and the mental health of children.

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Play news
London borough of Wandsworth plans fines of up to £500 for climbing trees, flying kites or playing cricket in parks

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London Play Press Releases
Research out today provides conclusive evidence of the health benefits of street play.

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London Play Press Releases
LEWISHAM: Lewisham's five adventure playgrounds are now run by Youth First, a social enterprise and staff-led mutual which officially launched last month.

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London Play in the news
Children from deprived areas like east London could be “paying the price” of public spending cuts and lose opportunities to improve their lives.

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London Play Press Releases
LEWISHAM: Lewisham's five adventure playgrounds are now run by Youth First, a social enterprise and staff-led mutual which officially launched last month.

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London Play Press Releases
Research out today provides conclusive evidence of the health benefits of street play.

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Play news
The number of children managing the recommended 60 minutes of physical activity a day drops by 40% as they move through primary school.

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