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Playground facing closure survives another four months

PUBLISHED: 16:42 20 October 2011

Alfie Ayton, 10, Tayla Sabaroche, 12, and Charlie Housham, 12, play in Weavers Fields Adventure Playground.

Alfie Ayton, 10, Tayla Sabaroche, 12, and Charlie Housham, 12, play in Weavers Fields Adventure Playground.

Archant

A playgound which faced closure has raised sufficient funds to survive at least another four months.

The future looked bleak for Weavers Fields Adventure Playground this summer but staff, parents and children have managed to raise nearly £6,000 – enough to keep the staffed playground afloat until February.

The play area, in Weavers Viaduct Street, off Bethnal Green Road, raised £4,500 itself through fundraising events such as a fun day, cake baking and sponsored walks.

‘Promising’

The new Westfield store also awarded the playground £880 while John Lewis, which has opened up a store at the Stratford City shopping centre, awarded £500.

Two months ago the playground started charging children for entry to avoid cutting its opening hours.

The playground is run by two full-time playworkers and volunteers.

Playworker Victor Willliams said: “It looks more promising and we are trying to fill in as many grant forms as we can.”

His colleague, Tracy Salmon, is leaving the playground after 28 years and Victor said they are now looking to replace her with a part-time administrator to help fill in grant forms and a part-time play worker.

The playground needs £6,000 a month to stay open and relies mainly on funding from the voluntary sector.

A £22,000 annual council grant the playground has been receiving has been extended for another six months.

Donation boxes can be found at the playground itself and shops in Bethnal Green Road and Roman Road.

Weavers is also in the process of setting up a justgiving.com web page for donations.

The playground is one of five staffed – or so-called Adventure playgrounds­ – in Tower Hamlets. Two of the other playgrounds have already reduced their hours.

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