One of Berkeley St Edward's Designated Charity partners is Triangle Adventure Playground. Gabriel from Triangle has written a blog about last year; how the charity has adapted to still support young people and their families in Lambeth.
Small Charity - BIG Impact - A Triangle year to remember
March 20th 2020 saw the Triangle Adventure Playground shut its gates as lockdown began and 63 years of uninterrupted play was put on pause. In the following twelve months our charity overcame unique challenges whilst firmly adhering to our core ethos - every child has the right to play.
Masks, site alterations, QR codes, PPE, tests, bubbles, temperature checks and more. It is difficult to discuss the Triangle and our year's impact without mentioning all of the above. We prefer to focus on the highlights but should make clear that behind the joy and play there has been extraordinary effort involved to keep all our young people, families and playworkers safe.
How did London's oldest adventure playground support the hundreds of young people who rely on the Triangle? By providing play by any means necessary! Over the two lockdowns we delivered more than 450 hours of online zoom play sessions, bringing together our Triangle community of young people and families for dress up discos, Nature Club, family fitness, arts and crafts and a whole lot more bonkers fun. Denied the right to play and stuck at home is no way for our children to develop. We ensured they saw friends, kept active, and even learnt new skills such as how to play chess.
To assist the #stayathome fun, our small team of play workers and volunteers hand delivered two hundred play packs, including footballs; colouring pencils; whoopee cushions; activity sheets and toys galore along with twenty three digital access packs (Samsung Tablets & wifi). It was the perfect opportunity to check in on our young people and bring a much welcomed gift.
Despite the limitations of bubbles and booking systems imposed on us, the Triangle was able to reopen from July 27th 2020 all the way until the second lockdown began in January 2021. Since March 8th 2021 we have been open again and have our fingers crossed for a return to full open access in the not too distant future.
The desire to play, and the benefits of play, have never been more evident than now. The award winning play, mental and physical freedom found at Triangle has been the perfect antidote to the loneliness, boredom, isolation and challenges our young people have faced.
The tidal wave of joyful screams and intense activity as each of our daily bubbles returned were a sure fire sign that the Triangle kids were glad to be back. The pandemic year has again proven how important we are to our community. Not just a place to play, the Triangle is a place for our global Oval community to bond and come together. The trust built in us and each other has helped us share food supplies, give emotional support and become a hub for the community during these extraordinary times.
As we look ahead to a long glorious summer of play, we'd like to thank our friends, supporters, funders, play workers and volunteers, and most importantly our Triangle kids and their families who for generations have made Triangle the magical place it is today.