Over 100 residents came together to celebrate the official opening of the new play area at Vine Square within the Maystar Estate off Star Road on Wednesday 6 June. They were joined by the newly elected Mayor of Hammersmith and Fulham, Councillor Belinda Donovan, who cut the ribbon and celebratory cake to declare the play area officially open.
Children enjoyed the new play equipment, and took part in sports activities, face painting and community games.
The new play area, designed by Groundwork’s landscape architects encourages imaginative play, with equipment including new swings, a wobble bridge and dish, climbing net, slide, boulders and a seating area, set within a grassy, undulating landscape. The height of the boundary wall was lowered to open up views so that the space feels safer, all the fencing was replaced and the extensive area of hard surfacing was removed and replaced with grass and play mulch to make it safer for children’s play. Now a hub of activity and energy the adventure play area provides both a play space for children as well as a much needed community space for events and activities.
Mayor of Hammersmith and Fulham, Councillor Belinda Donovan said:
“This is so impressive, to be able to open your front door onto a beautiful green space where you can meet your neighbours, what more could you want as a resident and child? Two years ago there was nothing to do, and now there is so much for children and adults. It’s so nice for the kids to see all the plants, I’m so impressed!”
Cllr Andrew Johnson, Hammersmith and Fulham Council, Cabinet Member for Housing, said:
“The council is committed to ensuring that young estate residents have access to top quality play areas and I am delighted that we have been able to work so closely with Groundwork London on this scheme. I am sure that residents on the Maystar Estate will enjoy these facilities for many years to come.”
Moira Herring, Community Projects officer, Groundwork London said: “This is a fantastic new resource for the community where a previously uninspiring and unattractive space has been transformed into an exciting, green and attractive area for the whole neighbourhood to enjoy with a range of challenging equipment for children. It was great to have such enthusiastic community involvement throughout the project, and to now see the results on the ground based on residents’ needs.”
Meeyah, aged 8 said: “I think it’s really fun, and I play here a lot, the swings are my favourite. It’s like playing in jungle, the wobbly bridge is like a river and the climbing nets are like trees!”
Lena, aged 7 said: “I like the bridge, it’s nice and wobbly and there are loads of games you can play with.”
Anita, a local resident said: “I think it’s excellent, I’ve had an involvement all the way through, the children love it, it’s never empty! We were consulted from the start and went on a tour of other local parks and play spaces to choose what we wanted in ours.”
Nadia, a parent and local resident said: “It’s changed completely and makes the space so welcoming, it’s really nice to see, we enjoyed watching the building happen step by step. Now you can look down onto a green space full of children playing.”
Groundwork London works with local communities to help them make positive changes to their parks and open spaces. This helps improve a sense of civic pride and ownership of their public spaces. The new play area encourages children to be active and play outside, and provide spaces for community events and activities.
The project was funded by London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham’s Housing Estates Improvement Programme (£50,000) and Western Riverside Environmental Fund (£25,000).