Playscape News – June 2015 Newsletter

A new month brings a new logo and new Playscape members.

Jeremy Fazal, local dad and professional market researcher is putting the finishing touches to our online questionnaire which we will launch with our website soon. Vaila Morrison, an architect and mother, has a very personal interest in inclusive provision as her daughter has additional needs. Her blog explores good design for all needs and how inclusive design could become the norm.  Vaila is heading up our social media presence, come and find us on and @GSPlayscape is now live on twitter.

Dr Jegar Pitchforth, a statistician, is particularly interested in the skating and bmx provision. Having toured skate parks filming professional skaters he’s witnessed the value a good skate park can be for the whole community: “Teens and young adults are often seen as a problem demographic in the community, but there is evidence to show that when skate facilities are high quality the users often become strong advocates for their community precisely because they see that they are welcomed.” If you would like to contact Jegar directly regarding this aspect of the Playscape project then please use


In other news, Holly Barr and I have enjoyed meeting with our focus groups. We started with fifteen Beavers drawing their dream playground (although solar-powered flying machines, disappearing houses and explosives also featured!) and they got to vote with their feet in the playground. We then met with the senior scouts who were very accommodating even when we asked them to join in a visualisation exercise! Ollie Leonard, Romsey Mills Youth Development Worker, introduced us to some members of the Shelford and Stapleford Youth Initiative and not surprisingly the skating provision was high on their agenda, however they also really valued the river area. Most recently, the Shelford School Council kindly invited us along to one of their meetings where they presented us with their research – each class had worked on individual designs, and even a model had been created by Dillon from year one.


From all our meetings it was clear that everyone would like more variety, challenge, and natural features on the rec, but also a more welcoming atmosphere. More surprisingly perhaps was a recurring theme of food – from picnic areas and brick barbecues to food outlets and sweet machines at the end of slides – the focus groups have certainly given us plenty of “food for thought”!


Eleanor McCrone (

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