Representatives from Merton Council, Clarion Futures and Travis Perkins visited Acacia Adventure Playground on National Playday, Wednesday 3 August, as the Mayor of Merton cut the ribbon and officially opened two new play areas following a makeover which cost more than £60,000.
The improvements, which also included structural repairs to other areas of the playground, were funded by Clarion Futures, the charitable foundation of Clarion Housing Group, and builders’ merchants Travis Perkins which contributed to the project through Clarion’s social value programme, donating materials and purchasing equipment.
Additional funding was provided by the Merton Community Panel, a group comprising local residents and stakeholders which manages a budget provided by Clarion Futures to improve neighbourhoods in Merton.
The Acacia Adventure Playground has been open for 12 years. It is an open access playground with a main purpose of providing a safe space for children to freely express themselves through play.
The two new play areas – a tango swing, which allows two people to swing face-to-face, and a net climbing tower – were created by London Play Design, who undertook an eight month process to complete the job. In addition to this, the funding has covered new activities on site such as an outdoor table tennis table and football table, which have been a massive success with the children and young people who visit the adjoining Acacia Centre.
The re-opening of the playground was timed to coincide with National Playday, a celebration of children’s right to play. To mark the occasion, Merton Council and Clarion Futures arranged their own free local playday with a bouncy castle, soft play, a tombola, various sporting activities and a visit from the fire brigade.
Phil Miles, Director of Clarion Futures, said:
“We’re delighted to have been able to help fund the refurbishment of this much-loved adventure playground that sits within one of our communities in Merton. The improvements and the new equipment will make a huge difference for local children and young people, and we’d also like to thank Travis Perkins for their generous support which helped transform a shared vision into reality.”
Cllr Brenda Fraser, Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, said:
“I want to give a huge thank you to Clarion Futures, Travis Perkins and the Merton Community Panel for this generous contribution to the upkeep and redevelopment of the much-loved Acacia Adventure Playground. In addition, I would like to thank all the staff, parents and volunteers for their tireless work in making this play area a safe and enjoyable place”.
“This is not just an investment in building materials and labour, it’s money that’s being spent on our children’s futures. We know that, by giving young people a safe and engaging place to play, we improve their life chances by a great deal. It’s also ensuring the future of a great resource for local parents who, in the middle of a cost of living crisis, can access free childcare.”