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To: Watford Borough Council

Save Watford Play Services

Save Watford Play Services

Stop the proposal to replace staffed Adventure Play Services with fixed equipment parks.

Why is this important?

This proposal by Watford Borough Council puts access to free, staffed play provision at risk. If the proposal is accepted by the cabinet the current facilities will be removed, the staff made redundant and the Adventure Playgrounds will be replaced with fixed equipment structures.
Playwork provision exists to enable children to take reasonable risks in an environment where they feel secure and supported. The Play service in Watford stretches well beyond the physical space of the two adventure playgrounds, having run outreach projects in many local school, parks and housing estates. The staff are well qualified, experienced professionals who work with children to support them to take ownership of space. Many of the local children would not have been successful, remained in school or achieved their potential were it not for the support of the Playworkers across the borough. Some children have grown up using this service and have gone on to manage other services around the country, providing support and care for the next generation.
The staff advocate for children's rights as set out in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) which was ratified by the British Government in 1991. Watford's play service provides children from disadvantaged backgrounds- and their families- with space to grow, learn about themselves, learn about the world around them, develop social skills, make new friends and have experiences they simply cannot get from going to a park with their parents. The Watford Adventure Play service offers children the opportunity to get away from home and school, it provides space to engage with nature and play with elements such as fire and water.
Loosing this service would have a huge impact on the standard of living for local families, it could force some parents out of work as they may not have access to affordable childcare. It would also lead to children loosing freedom of movement, and freedom of choice, as the current replacement options being offered by Watford Borough Council are services that charge for children to access them, and only cater for those 11 years old and under. Childcare facilities and holiday clubs are not a suitable replacement for an Adventure Playground, and fixed equipment parks (not matter how exciting they are perceived to be by the adults who decide to provide them) make poor substitutes for open access, staffed play provision.

For more information on Children's Play and access to supporting documentation please visit:
http://www.playengland.org.uk/
http://www.playwales.org.uk/eng/
http://www.playscotland.org/
http://www.playboard.org/
http://ipaworld.org/

For more information on Children's Rights please visit:
http://www.unicef.org.uk/UNICEFs-Work/UN-Convention/?gclid=CjwKEAjwtLO7BRDax4-I4_6G71USJAA6FjN1OrTMUbkohJGHQxpMCWt9PSPuktB28TyNPjq2AYxrkxoCynrw_wcB&sissr=1

http://www.childrenscommissioner.gov.uk/about-us/childrens-rights-and-uncrc

http://www.uncrcletsgetitright.co.uk/

Watford, Hertfordshire

Maps © Stamen; Data © OSM and contributors, ODbL


Reasons for signing

  • Play is integral
  • The playgrounds are a rare space where children are able to make their own choices & learn about consequences, they are able to stretch imaginations, challenge physical, emotional, social, and intellectual skills.... In today's society children are living with their own mental Ill health, Here is where they can have their own space and play through their thoughts & feelings, & feeling safe to do so. This is one place where they are also able to build resilience making them less vulnerable...
  • I used to love coming here as a kid!! It will be such a shame for children to miss out on such a great place!!

Updates

2016-06-28 21:29:15 +0100

1,000 signatures reached

2016-06-26 23:10:00 +0100

500 signatures reached

2016-06-25 16:49:22 +0100

100 signatures reached

2016-06-25 13:50:36 +0100

50 signatures reached

2016-06-25 12:11:23 +0100

25 signatures reached

2016-06-25 10:45:21 +0100

10 signatures reached