Playing in parks keep kids fit

Children need play areas to keep healthy – which is why campaigners have been fighting to keep open Papa’s Park in Pulross Road, Brixton.

The park was funded by Lambeth council until six months ago. Several nearby schools rely on the
playground as one of the only spaces their students can play in. Cubs Club Nursery director Ioney Harris said: “I am saddened that Papa’s are losing their funding and that there is a possibility that the park could close down as a result.

“This is appalling, there are hardly any suitable parks left in the area and less places left for the children to play and socialise.”

Bronwen Smith, assistant headteacher at Stockwell Primary School, said: “It would be a huge loss to the school and the community if Papa’s were to close. “With its open and welcoming attitude, Papa’s Park reflects our commitment to diversity, encouraging people of all backgrounds to get involved in its events and projects.”

Rachael Neville, a mother of two boys aged two and four who regularly use the park, said: “Papa’s Park has been a lifeline for me and my family. “It would be extremely short sighted of the council to let Papa’s close.

“I meet so many new mums and dads there, and I fear that if Papa’s was to go, it would tear apart one of the few remaining truly community-led parts of the area.”

Councillor Jane Pickard, cabinet member for families and young people, said earlier : “I’ve visited Papa’s Park and I agree with the campaigners that it’s a really great playground and cafe providing much-needed space for local children. I certainly don’t want to see it close.

“The council is committed to working with PAPA to support their ideas to make the park sustainable in the long term at what we recognise is a very difficult time for all voluntary sector organisations.

“The site is one of several independently run playgrounds which are on council land and benefited from council funding in the past. Due to huge cuts in our funding from government, we are encouraging our voluntary and community sector tenants to develop sustainability plans.”

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