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Valence Park in Barking and Dagenham, was transformed thanks to dedicated local residents
Valence Park in Barking and Dagenham, was transformed thanks to dedicated local residents

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Support for Equal Play campaign as figures show London is UK's second worst region for play provision

Strategic Lead – Facilities and Urban Spaces, Chris Donkin, gives London Sport's support to the Association of Play Industries' 'Equal Play' campaign and explains why outdoor public parks are so important for children's activity levels.

Public parks and play areas are essential local assets and rightly remain a focus of local conversations.

For this reason, London Sport fully supports the Association of Play Industries (API) campaign to level up the opportunities that children have to play and get active in their local areas.

That London children have access to almost five times fewer public playgrounds than their Scottish peers and the UK’s second worst play provision with 866 children per playground is shocking and upsetting.

Most concerningly though, is that these figures do not come as a surprise. In London, more than half of children and young people don’t complete the recommended 60 minutes of activity every day.

The figure is even higher for Black children while Office for National Statistics figures show that Black people in London are almost four times less likely to have access to a private garden.

This places even greater reliance for these communities on free, outdoor spaces and playground to enjoy the numerous physical and mental benefits of regular physical activity.

For these reasons, London Sport works with local communities to support the development of park facilities, including play areas, to promote more engagement in physical activity and sport.

Valence Park, in Barking and Dagenham, was transformed by dedicated volunteers, an engaged local community, and London Sport support.

At Hartington Park in Haringey, we’re developing spaces for children and young people to be active as well as creating resources to empower local communities to lead change locally.

Residents are best placed to decide what they want and where, with organisations like ours providing support with attracting financial resources and expertise to enable such developments.

Even then, our work is incomplete.

Facilities need people to use them which is why we used Tackling Inequalities Fund to distribute 1500 equipment packs via foodbanks in Newham to promote greater use of public spaces by families.

To learn more about the API’s Equal Play campaign, click here. For more information on London Sport’s work in ‘Place’ check out our website.

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London Sport aims to ensure Londoners live happier, healthier lives through sport and physical activity

About London Sport

London Sport aims to ensure more Londoners live happier, healthier lives through sport and physical activity. Supported by the Mayor of London and Sport England, our target is to get Londoners more physically active.

For more information on London Sport, visit www.londonsport.org

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