Meriden Adventure Playground Association
‘A place where children can come and do their thing.’
Meriden Adventure Playground Association began in December 2012 to support and develop Meriden Adventure Playground, which had been operating for four years. The association became a registered charity in early 2017 and, shortly after this, the council announced that they would no longer be able to provide funding. The organisation, therefore, works hard to continue to provide an exciting place to play, and a community space for the local area.
What is Meriden Adventure Playground Association?
Meriden Adventure Playground aims to compensate for the serious lack of play opportunities in the local area of Chelmsley Wood. The playground is completely free for anyone to use, with anyone over the age of 7 being able to attend unaccompanied. It has become central to the neighbourhood, with over 1,000 children registered and up to to 450 children visiting during the school holidays each day.
The outdoor site caters for all types of play, including construction and creative activities, as well as physical activity. The playground’s ethos is to give children the freedom to be themselves without too much interference from adults, and the association encourages parents to adopt this attitude too. All the staff at the playground are trained to support this ethos, letting children choose how they want to play and be creative, which allows staff to build strong relationships with the children who visit.
Children who use the site have helped to design and build the purpose-built wooden structures for climbing and swinging. There is also a large sandpit, fire pit, zip wire, swings, a tunnel, and open space for visitors to use however they see fit!
In addition to providing an area for children to explore and play, the site has become known as a place to get informal support, and a food bank. This started when the playground introduced a community cafe to encourage parents to give their children space to play. It became apparent, however, that some were struggling, particularly during the holidays, for those who rely on free school meals. The organisation provides food free of charge for children every day, which is cooked over the open fire with help from the children.
If successful, what will you use your LoveBrum funding for?
Originally, the playground was set up to cater for children aged 6-13 but, since the closure of council run youth centres, the association has worked hard to cater for teenagers as well as younger children. They aim to improve the social skills and self-esteem of young people by providing activities specifically catered to their interests.
The funding from LoveBrum would help to set up opportunities for young people such as designing and building go-karts, as well as repairing the existing climbing wall, which is becoming unfit for purpose. This will not only involve and occupy young people, but it also provides an opportunity to develop the relationships and trust between young people and staff.
Cost of project
Where can people go to find out more about Meriden Adventure Playground?
Ali Wood, Chair of Trustees
Tel: 07912 674136
You can also follow Meriden Adventure Playground on Facebook.