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.
The strategy, approved in October, aims to ensure all residents have play facilities within walking distance of their home, as well as improving consultation with children and parents when developing new play spaces.
A new five-year action plan will be developed to help realise the ambitions set out in the strategy. This will seek to improve the current adventure playground offer and invest in play spaces, as well putting children’s and parent’s voices at the heart of decision-making and ensuring a greater focus on play spaces in new housing developments.
The strategy was developed in partnership with London Play, informed by ideas from over 900 residents. Community engagement sessions and surveys were carried out to understand more about children’s experiences of play in Lewisham and how parents support their children to play.
Councillor Chris Barnham, Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Community Safety, said:
“Play is crucial to children’s development and wellbeing. We are committed to making Lewisham a play-friendly borough and this strategy, informed by the views of children and parents, will support that by providing more opportunities and spaces to play. Every child should live within walking distance of a play space and our Play Strategy will help make that a reality.”
Emmerson Sutton, aged 15, London Youth Games Ambassador Lewisham:
“I want to play my part in making this borough more active and playful and look forward to meeting fellow young people in parks and play areas to discuss how to make sustainable improvements to these precious spaces. A comprehensive play strategy for children and young people in Lewisham is a great start, with the aim of having fun and upholding the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.”
More on Lewisham Council’s website here.
London Play is hopeful that other London councils will follow Lewisham’s lead. We invite anyone who is interested in developing a play strategy in their borough to contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org