PATH started working with on this project in April 2015, part of a wider project to improve health and well-being in the St Pauls Way, Devons Road and Lansbury areas of Poplar. PATH led on developing new play spaces, delivering play sessions mainly outdoors and in community centres and training local people in play.
Participation from all ages of the local community has been a key element of the project from day one, originally a 2 year project this was extended to 3 then 5 years meaning we’ve seen real changes and impact during this time.
Playworkers have delivered thousands of hours of active outdoor play for children primarily age 5 to 13 with some younger ones joining in and parents too. Poplar Harca community centres opened their doors, providing space for children to keep playing whatever the weather, playworkers filled the time with creative and imaginative activities while parents could sit and chat or join in.
Three new play spaces were created as part of the project, providing sunken trampolines, big swings, slides, willow huts and giant outdoor games. This involved participation from Poplar Harca teams as the landowner, resident boards to discuss each space and the additional benefits children get from access to doorstep play opportunities and of course the children and families too.
Training throughout the project and outdoor storage with play resources for community access will enable local families to keep playing beyond the end of the project in March 2020.
The three play areas were so well used and welcomed that residents asked for more, leading to PATH applying for additional funding from London Marathon Charitable Trust. The 5th play area of this project, with a new nest swing and climbing frame was completed in August 2020 after being delayed by Covid-19, a fitting end to the project.