Two Lambeth adventure playgrounds that went to extraordinary lengths to keep children playing – and in some cases, fed – through the challenges of summer 2020’s Covid 19 pandemic were among three joint winners of the London Play Adventure Playground of the Year Award.
Movies with a message
Winners Triangle and Max Roach – the third is Hackney Marshes – submitted films of their innovative approaches. The films got the message out that adventure playgrounds are vital for children’s wellbeing and happiness – even with opportunities to play curtailed like never before. Usually, hundreds of children celebrate the Awards at the Prince Charles Cinema. This year, the news came via YouTube.
Max Roach Adventure Playground
As lockdown hit, the team at Max Roach began Happy Lunch Play delivery service. Play workers arrived by bicycle with smiles, healthy packed lunches and play resources – providing a lifeline to families shut indoors. “Working with some of the most disadvantaged children within our community, play has been fundamental to children’s recovery from the impact of the pandemic” said the playground’s Candice James. “It’s a wonderful testimony to all our staff, volunteers and trustees.”
Triangle Adventure Playground
At Triangle Adventure Playground – one of London’s oldest – lockdown saw staff immediately turn their hand to broadcasting daily online play sessions – from toilet roll keepy-uppy to daytime raves. Their vibrant film also captured the joy of children returning ‘home’ for Triangle’s limited summer reopening. “The Triangle APG family are very proud to be APG of the year,” said deputy senior playworker Gabriel Green. “And even more proud to share the award with Max Roach and Hackney, two great adventure playgrounds!”
Word from the Cabinet
Cllr Ed Davie, Lambeth Council Cabinet Member for Young People, said: “It has been a very tough year for children, their families and those working to support them. With lockdowns the need for high quality outdoor play space has never been more important and so I am really proud that two of our borough’s facilities have been rated in the top three adventure playgrounds in London. Thank you to staff, volunteers and families for making this happen and I promise that Lambeth Council will be looking at lessons to extend this good practice across the borough so more children can access great opportunities to play and learn.”
The ethos of adventure playgrounds is to be open, tactile and very much ‘hands on’. There’s no doubt it’s been a challenge being forced to close their gates on children likely to be living in flats with no open space, to adapt. But adapt they did.
- Lambeth’s youth organisations will continue to offer reduced services and activities throughout the lockdown for local children and young people. Check local youth organisations or search on the Lambeth Family Information Directory –
- For a full version of this story see the London Play website.
- Watch Max Roach, Triangle and Hackney’s video entries on You Tube
Photos courtesy of London Play website