Hello All,

Consider yourselves cc’ed into an internal email outlining our successes so far – and join in our happiness!

—–

From: Penny

To: Rainer, Zoe, Morgan and PATH HQ

Subject: Project Update

Last week we opened up a new play space, Tic Tac Park.

We were so happy and proud of ourselves because the project was well and truly launched and we had had a success that we had not expected to experience for a few months yet, that is, a child space with child keyholders endorsed by the RSL and parents.

Wow.

However, a week is a long time in playwork.

On Tuesday we had  our very first meeting with East End Homes and ended up being invited to design the three  playspaces on the British Street Estate. We plan to increase this to four play pools and a flowing playable stream. This ’ greening’ will be completed by June 09.

On the previous day the possibility of using the Archibald road site as the Pathfinder Adventure Playground was mooted. This will be decided for early action in the next financial year.

On Thursday, we were told by London Play that we had been successful in our application to develop two sites, in Hewlett Road and Sheffield Square, as natural play spaces. This work will be complete by the end of march.

This morning, I just happened to gate crash a meeting with Green Dreams and a regeneration officer from Tower Hamlets Homes.

Sit down my friends.

It would appear that the there is a large sum of section 106 funding that has to be spent on the Malmesbury Estate, mostly before then end of this financial year.

Some of this is required for practical considerations like mending broken rubbish bin doors and the REMOVAL OF ALL THE SHIN RAILS (caps quite deliberate.)

However the remainder is for the regeneration of the squares.

At this point I should tell you that Green Dreams are designing and contracting this work, so do not panic. They are very playful in the same way that we are. They want natural solutions and insist that all spaces should be playable for the whole community. In short I liked and trusted them.

Trellis Square- a playable garden… the first thought was to pull down the walls, but I pointed out that a cuddling wall can feel nice and mentioned the practical boundaries as being useful as an inclusive play tool. They understood. And the guy in charge suggested a sand-pit. (This was after I insisted that there would be big trouble if the space was turned into a garden that was not playable because all the spaces identified as playspaces were damn well going to stay playspaces while I was around. I didn’t actually say ‘stay away from her you bitch’ in my charming Sigourney Weaveresque way, but I think that’s what they might have heard and I think they liked that! I personally feel that it did set a certain tone….)

Sheffield Square. Once again I think I managed to charm them with the explanation of our hippy shit (heretoin HS), working methods, I enchanted them with my assault on the hostile plant! Wowed them with edible fencing and fairy lit trees, sand-pits rolling hills and scramble slopes. I think they even liked the idea that we could use water run off to feed a pump to create water ways through a series of trenches…. Etc etc it is possible we could be looking a a contribution to the cost of this… not sure. I have to submit plans to a T&R meeting in mid November.

Then onto the cage, which I pointed out had only one entrance. They are going to create a second one.

Creswisck Square, green dream suggested it could be a community garden with playspace (at this point I became almost obsessed by the fact that this woman was able to sight-read my mind out loud.) Green Dreams want to create an orchard in one of the squares and a rambling seaty rose garden for the elders garden.  Oh and yes, an allotment patch!

In Ambrose walk the THH guys wanted to put a toddler playground. For about half a second. After the green Dreams team and me telling him that this was an evil consumerist rip-off and damaging to the whole community and doomed to failure, (the three of us screeching this information altogether must have taken all of three seconds, so this was a speedy process.) he agreed to an all age play space, he started to ask one of the maintenance staff to order some play equipment.  When the chorus of harpies sounded off again and he agreed, rather quickly, to let Green Dreams and PATH find alternatives that would be cheaper and offer greater play value.

We also spoke about the need to create some spaces for older kids to play.. taking up the hostile paving and maybe creating some contours for a sort of skating experience, and removing No Ball Games signage in other spots to see if we could get some informal (‘Pick-up’ in the states) ball games going on.

I have sent the folks many of  the documents that we generated to this group and referred them to the Plog.

So

Obama Week Syndrome…?

Change CAN happen.

Elatedly yours,

pen

Advertisements