48-year-old Hackney adventure playground wins award

Hackney Marsh Adventure Playground opened in 1972. Picture: Sean Pollock

Hackney Marsh Adventure Playground opened in 1972. Picture: Sean Pollock - Credit: Sean Pollock

A playground, which is almost half a century old has been crowned a winner of this year’s Adventure Playground of the Year Awards.

London Play has announced Hackney Marsh Adventure Playground as joint winner of the category in the London Adventure Play Awards 2020, along with Lambeth adventure playground’s Triangle and Max Roach.

READ MORE: Shakespeare Walk and Hackney Marsh playgrounds named among best five in LondonThe playground, managed by Young Hackney, the council’s department for children and young people, opened in 1972 and is currently attended by up to 120 young people every day.

Angela Day, senior playworker at Hackney Marsh Adventure Playground, said: “We are incredibly proud to have won this award.

“Play is an innate impulse for a child from early on, which is why playgrounds like ours are so important.

“Play helps a child to develop biologically, psychologically and socially.

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“It is a fundamental factor in aiding the healthy development and wellbeing of individuals right into adulthood.”

READ MORE: Hackney artist creates 30-foot playground mural with Leyton schoolchildrenThe playground is open to children aged six to 15 and gives them the chance to build projects, take part in activities like bushcraft, team games and gardening, and learn survival skills.

READ MORE: Build Up Hackney helps young people make ‘Netageddon’ in Homerton Grove Adventure PlaygroundEleyona Gyima, eight, said: “I think we won because it’s fun at the playground and you get to do things like face painting and climbing. You get to try loads of different activities and go on different types of stuff, it’s the best.”

While coronavirus restrictions have limited the number of children which can play to 50 young people daily, the playground has managed to keep running by allocating children into small social bubbles.

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Cllr Caroline Woodley, cabinet member for families, early years and play, told the Gazette: “I am so pleased to know that Young Hackney and the staff at Hackney Marsh Adventure Playground are being recognised for all the amazing work they’re doing for our children and young people.

“Over the last eight months in particular the staff and volunteers at the playground have adapted creatively to the restrictions in place, ensuring that young people are still able to have fun and enjoy the benefits of play.”

During lockdown the playground is operating differently in order to continue supporting young people whilst adhering to government guidelines.

The playground will only be open for pre-arranged support groups: Tuesday to Friday, 3.30pm to 5.30pm and Saturdays 12 to 2pm.

Children and young people are also able to connect with staff at the playground through remote sessions and interactive videos via Young Hackney’s Online Youth Hub.

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