Playscape – Important for Everyone?
We spent a glorious day on the beach last month and I was reminded just how engaging the natural world is for children. We know in our hearts we feel better from being outside and research shows that it is crucial for physical and mental well-being too.
George Monbiot nicely sums up why we need to champion communal outdoor spaces:
“A community not built around children is no community at all. A place that functions socially is one in which they are drawn to play outdoors… Without safe and engaging places in which they can come together, no tribe forms. So parents must play the games that children would otherwise play among themselves, and everyone is bored to tears.”
I can testify to that: 6 hours by the sea, no “I’m bored!” or “he’s being mean!” only tears that we had to go home!
The former mayor of Bogotá, Enrique Peñalosa put it another way: “Children are a kind of indicator species. If we can build a successful city for children, we will have a successful city for everyone.” It occurred to me that even though we don’t have a village square, the rec could be a natural replacement for this traditional meeting point. “Going to the Playscape” of an evening could become a whole community pastime, just like going to the Plazas on the continent.
To make this vision a reality, we’re busy organising the Fun Run and writing two grant applications, whilst waiting to hear from the planners. We warmly welcome donations as every pledge helps: you can donate on our website and of course we’d love you to sign up for the Fun Run 2018 at www.shelfordfunrun.co.uk (Sunday 16th September). We’re counting on raising significant funds again this year and we can only do it with your support.