Defending Play & Youth Work in London

Posted on Wednesday, December 09, 2015

Why we need to get organised: an example

In 2012, Wandsworth Council decided to close Battersea Park Adventure Playground despite protests organised by local parents and children, the council went ahead with their plans. At the time, they said the playground would be closed, refurbished, and re-opened as an unsupervised space.

What the council have now done is to re-open the playground but divided in two: one half free and the other an exclusive, privately-run service that costs £30 per child. Such spaces are rare in London. Now, the company Go Ape! have opened a private ’attraction’, designed for those children and young people who can afford it. This has nothing to do with the community values that underpinned adventure playgrounds when they first sprang up on derelict land in the 1970s.

If we want to stop this happening to other playgrounds and youth centres, we need to strengthen links between workers, parents, and children across London. We need to raise awareness about the importance of these services and the threats they face. We need to support each others local battles. We need to be ready for the next time they try to cut.

Click here for more information about the Battersea Playground Campaign and planned events.

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