Volunteers take on adventure to make children’s play safe in Weavers Fields
- Credit: Essential Living Future
Housing developers have been making a children’s adventure playground safe in London’s East End by replacing ageing and worn-out equipment in a playpark that’s been in constant use for more than 40 years.
A community clear-up day was organised at Weavers Fields adventure playground in Bethnal Green—three miles from a tragedy in another park last summer when a five-year-old girl died in a playground accident.
The authorities want to make sure all playgrounds are safe for children by replacing ageing equipment.
Essential Living Future—a community-interest company helping neighbourhood organisations in disadvantaged areas with training, work experience and apprenticeships—sent its volunteers to help clear-up the playground 10 minutes from its Farrier House development which also involved its contractors McLaren’s Construction.
Rubbish was removed and rotten and damaged timber frames replaced.
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“The Weavers Fields playground has seen better days,” construction site manager Michael McKeon said. “So we’ve helped clean the grounds and other maintenance work to revive the playground to bring it back to life.’’
The playground was erected the year Weavers Fields was laid out in 1974 as a new park after slum clearance along Vallance Road. It was part of a movement across London in the 1960s and 70s for open space for children once the wartime bomb-sites had been redeveloped where those growing up in the post-war years used as play areas.
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But much of the equipment was ageing and needed urgent replacement.
Essential Living’s programme manager on the Farrier House project, Damon Brown, said: “The volunteer day was just the start—we’re working our way across the rest of the park over the next few months with a task-force of volunteers and tradesman to do what we can to create a safer place to play.”
The community-interest company also runs workshops for youths on antisocial behaviour, knife crime, social development and building self-esteem.