London Play’s AGM in December marked the charity’s 25th birthday – but there was little time for nostalgia! The vibe was all about looking forward; and building strength and solidarity among London’s play community.
Around 30 playworkers, enthusiasts and promoters gathered at the beautiful Museum of the Home for London Play’s AGM to reflect on the year that had been, share stories and hatch plans for the future. A rare opportunity to meet others with shared passions and challenges was clearly valued by those in the room
“The AGM was really interesting and informative. It’s nice to see that people are really passionate and enthusiastic about play in this current environment.”
London Play director Fiona Sutherland looked back at the past year (and quarter century!), including highlighting the opportunity for the first time thanks to Trust for London, to support communities across the capital to campaign for better public playgrounds and services in their local areas. Other notable achievements included the return of car free day play streets and the ever-popular adventure play awards.
She also looked to the future, emphasising that adventure playgrounds continue to be seen as a key priority for the charity. She noted that six adventure playgrounds in London have closed since the outset of the pandemic, and the 72 remaining face significant challenges. London Play’s survey of adventure playgrounds carried out earlier in the year revealed that the most pressing challenges are funding, staff and training and upkeep and maintenance of structures.
Adventure play workers were also asked how useful various types of support would be. Playworker training and funding topped the list – with free events for children, downloadable resources, providing a conduit for children’s voices and help with maintenance also in demand. Fiona confirmed that, armed with this evidence, London Play is actively pursuing funding to develop a London AP network to facilitate peer support, access training and maintenance and create opportunities for collaboration and joint promotion.
London Play is keen to hear from anyone involved in adventure playgrounds with suggestions or evidence to support a funding bid. We are also keen to recruit people in adventure play communities to the London Play board of trustees, to help better shape this work.
Download London Play’s 2023 Annual Review below; or the new three year strategic plan, for more information. Contact London Play any time on email@example.com.