Story and photos by Steve Pool
I took a stroll out to Pitsmoor Adventure Playground; it was nice to hear the kids’ shouts and laughter from playtime at Byron Wood School. Pitsmoor Adventure Playground looks very tidy with chalked drawing on the pavement where the kids had been scribbling as they waited in line to get in. Zaqer took my temperature; I sanitised my hands and gave my name and address. As I walked up the ramp and was almost knocked over by a kid on a trike, I felt the familiar buzz of the playground and I was reminded of why I love it.
Pitsmoor Adventure Playground is open and supporting families and young people. Like many places at the moment it is not business as usual but the team have worked out how to keep people safe without taking the fun out of play. Playground manager Patrick Meleady is pleased that the team is back doing what they see as their proper jobs. He says:
“We have been involved in all sorts of stuff to support our community, helping deliver food and play packs for some of the most vulnerable, acting as a community hub for sharing information, and getting on with repairs and maintenance but it’s only when the kids come back and you can hear them chatting and laughing that we all realize why we are here and what was missing.”
Even with renewed threats of local lockdowns and the potential of further restrictions, Patrick is optimistic and ready to bounce back from whatever comes next. He says that having worked everything out once, it will be much easier to close and then reopen as soon as it becomes safe. We talked about plans for a Halloween film, the opening of a new area for loose parts play and the joy of working with families over the last month. As I left, Patrick gave me some words of wisdom:
“In our work you see all sorts of things come and go. It’s not the things as much as the way we deal with them. We try and do what we can and this is what keeps us going. A strong staff team committed to making this place work for children and families – you can’t get put off or daunted if that’s what your job is, you just have to get on with it because it’s important.”
Due to Covid restrictions it is now important to book on to a play session. Contact the team via our Facebook page or by calling us on 0114 273 7121.