Story by John Malkin | Photos by Katie Lee
Pitsmoor Adventure Playground is part of a consortium of playgrounds that are leading the way in playground safety. Along with their partners at Highfields Adventure Playground, Sycamore Adventure Playground and the Old Quarry Adventure Playground in Knottingley, they have been developing new training and skills to ensure that children can enjoy the playgrounds as safely as possible.
Adventure playgrounds provide an opportunity for stimulating, open access and inclusive play. They offer accessible play spaces within an urban environment, where children can freely choose their play in a setting that supports their interests and requirements.
Sheffield’s Adventure Playgrounds are supported by qualified and trained staff, providing children and young people using the playgrounds with equal access to all activities. These playgrounds are long established and child led and child-centred. This means that play is personally directed by the children and young people so they choose when, how and what they play with. This ensures that they have a sense of ownership, which enables them to make choices, develop friendships, learn, develop, take challenges, solve problems, and have fun.
A specially customised suite of training on promoting health and safety on the Sheffield and Knottingley Adventure Playgrounds has been devised and delivered by the Children’s Play Advisory Service, who are leading experts in the field
Rob Wheway, of the Children’s Play Advisory Service, said:
“It is great to see adventure playgrounds getting together to ensure good health and safety practice. The training course we have devised and customised is very practical and will assist the playgrounds to continue having exciting and challenging opportunities at an acceptable level of risk. I am grateful to Pitsmoor Adventure Playground for arranging the day and for involving Highfield and Knottingley Adventure Playgrounds.”
Patrick Meleady, from the Pitsmoor playground, added:
“Here in the Sheffield Adventure Playground movement we prioritise giving children chances to attend to high quality, stimulating, safe and health promoting open access play opportunities. We strive to provide children with safe risks and challenges whilst mitigating against any harm coming to them. Having this specially devised course, enables us to reflect on our practices and to learn new things, so that we can all keep striving to provide the very best play opportunities possible to children and young people in our areas and the whole of Sheffield and Knottingley too.
“So, thank you to everyone who plays the lottery. The funding allocated ensures that Sheffield families receive a first class play offer. It’s had a direct impact and helped to transform adventure playwork in Sheffield.”