Keep Playing – Playing Out Close to Home

Play Association Tower Hamlets launched ‘Keep Playing’, a project funded by the Big Lottery through the Reaching Communities programme in April 2011. Keep Playing was about getting children out playing on their estates, close to their homes and supported by the community . The four year project ended in March 2015 having brought together local families, Registered Social Landlords and all other housing providers to work with PATH and those interested to create playful spaces and attitudes on Tower Hamlets housing estates.

Play Champions

Play Champions are people who don’t just think play is important for children, they are the people who actually do something that gets kids out to play. The Keep Playing Team worked with 500 Play Champions in Tower Hamlets. Their stories are recorded on the Keep Playing website and they are given opportunities to meet up with other Play Champions to work on special projects and plan play events close to their homes.

Of the 500 Play Champions there were 420 children and youing people involved as Junior Play Champions and 80 adults whop got involved in all sorts of ways and made a difference where they lived.

Play Estate Plans

The Keep Playing Team worked with Registered Social Landlords to place play high up on the agenda for local estates. Eleanor Image worked with a number of RSL’s and TRA’s to put play into policies relating to services to families on housing esates. This was not taken up by RSL Management as much as we would have liked although feedback from residents on Estate boards and Tennant Resident Associations felt the process had been useful locally.

The Bethnal Green Area Board of Tower Hamlets Community Housing did agree and sign up to an Estate Play Plan which led to work with residents at Ada House. Consultations about the old play space and support from the board resulted in getting funds from the London Marathon Charitable Trust

The refurbished space at Ada House was finished in July 2015 so children and families could Keep Playing past the lifetime of the project.

Tower Hamlets Play Champion Sarah takes us on a tour of Rocky Park, once a disused play space, now a thriving community garden.