Playground wins upgrade in London Play Awards

White City Adventure Playground was named London Adventure Playground of the Year 2014 at an award ceremony last night.

Playground users show off the award
Playground users show off the award

The playground in west London won an upgrade as a prize in the London Play awards, in the form of a new structure, designed and built by APE Adventure Playground Engineers which worked on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park's Tumbling Bay playground, and £500 worth of free materials. 

Playgrounds in Islington, Lambeth and Hackney also saw wins in the London Play awards - while a street in Haringey was named first ever London Play Street of the Year and an Enfield primary won in the schools category. 

Around 150 children from playgrounds, schools, and play streets across London descended on the Phoenix Cinema in East Finchley yesterday to see films they had entered into the awards about the places.

Islington’s Lumpy Hill Adventure Playground was named Coolest Place to Play, Lollard Street in Lambeth won the category for Inventiveness, the KIDS playground in Hackney for disabled children came top for Variety and Houndsfield Primary in Enfield the Best Adventure Play in a School award. Reflecting the inexorable rise of play streets in the capital, the inaugural Play Street of the Year title was taken by a jubilant group from Redston Road in Haringey. Florence Hayes Adventure Playground in Enfield took the best film award. 

White City has evolved over recent years from a more standard childcare facility but other playgrounds are under threat, according to London Play chair Melian Mansfield.

She said: "As we see yet more adventure playgrounds in London come under threat, this annual event has taken on even greater significance – acknowledging and celebrating the life-affirming and even life-transforming role that these places play in the lives of children and young people. Last month heavyweight boxing champion Audley Harrison credited Harlesden’s Stonebridge Adventure Playground, now threatened with demolition, as the place that he learned ‘respect and key life skills’.

"With a quarter of London’s children living in overcrowded homes and one in five are overweight or obese, space and opportunity to play is vital. Playgrounds like White City are doing a fantastic job with few resources – we hope that these awards make more people understand how valuable these places are and act to protect them."

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