‘Local residents can now look out of their windows and see a piece of ground which is cared for, which is loved and which is used’
Over the past 18 months, a group of up to 10 service users have been working with Glyndon Community Centre to build a customised kids’ adventure playground. The Community Centre had secured funding to build the playground, but could only afford the new materials. Using the design skills and labour that Community Payback (CP) can provide, they were able to complete the project.
Project Supervisor Jumbo has designed and built several customised adventure playgrounds across London. Using a beach-theme in Plumstead, he transformed the rear of the Centre with wooden beach huts, safety rails, wooden planters and an imitation beach and ocean. The work was all hand built by the CP service user team.
‘This really is the essence of a meaningful Community Payback project,’ Jumbo said, ‘it engages serve users and gives them a sense of achievement, empowerment and something they can say they have done.
‘Recently one service user, having finished his unpaid work hours, wrote to us asking if he can come back to volunteer on the Glyndon Beach Project in his own time, he had enjoyed it so much – which is pretty much unheard of!’
Children of all ages are able to use the playgrounds, with special ramps and safety rails allowing wheelchair access into the beach. Pensioners are able to use the beach huts for afternoon tea and all visitors will be able to relax in the pleasant surroundings.
Attending the grand opening, Linda Neimantas, Deputy Director of Community Payback at London CRC, said ‘They’ve taken a derelict piece of land and turned it into an amazing community space, really highlighting the positive impact of Community Payback as a sentence.’
The Mayor of Greenwich, Councillor Mick Hayes, said ‘it’s really wonderful to come to a project like this which has taken a bit of disused ground and turned it into a community garden. Local residents can now look out of their windows and see a piece of ground which is cared for, which is loved and which is used.’