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Playhill:

Summary of Engagement & Preliminary Findings

November 2015 PLAYHILL: Summary of Engagement & Preliminary Findings

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Goals of our Engagement: Explore concepts behind a playground: What is play? Why is it important? What is Fun? How do we play? Where do we play? Who do you play with? What do we play with? Place/ aspiration: What makes Barking Riverside a special place to live? How could we make it even better? Key considerations: - Engaging different potential users (Parents/children/young adults) and ages of young people - Child vs Adult led play. - How to translate excitement and learning opportunities of play enabled in workshops into built/ fixed environment. - Encouraging aspiration through inspiration. Engagement Strategy & Opportunities:

- Engage, Get feedback, Observe & Interpret - Design and Play Workshops

- Pop-ups & Community Events - Study trip to the Olympic Park

Engagement Tools:

Mobile Cardboard Play Factory

Feedback Cards

Scale model of playground site

Thumbs up/ Thumbs down viewfinder

November 2015 PLAYHILL: Summary of Engagement & Preliminary Findings

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Summary of Pop-ups & Community Events Attended: Initial Meeting with Barking Reach TRA We began our process by attending a Barking Reach TRA meeting. At this meeting we had in depth discussions with 19 residents, Most were parents/adults but we spoke to a teenager and 3, 8-11 year old boys. General points: provision for all ages - baby and toddler through to young adults and adults. Raised the lack of specific provision for teenagers and babies in the area. Disability provision, Public notice board. Concerns raised: safety, security, lighting, noise, proximity to roads, closing times, bins and toilets. Recommendations for play provision were: Football pitch (high priority), trampoline, climbing wall, zip line, outdoor gym equipment (for adults - very popular), skate park, parkour, assault course (teenage provision), slide down the hill, swings. Rivergate Church Coffee Morning We attended a coffee morning to talk about the playground with mothers of young children. Feedback was captured using the Feedback cards and is included in overall table. Recommendations raised by this group: - Sign for the park that says its for everyone - concern that locals from adjoining estates get territorial. - Involve/ celebrate local community - art/mural to boost local ownership and sense of pride. - Placement of baby area/ play equipment so that parents can see children of different ages.

Pop-ups! At our pop up events we used the Mobile Cardboard Play Factory as a way of drawing curiosity from children, parents and locals in order to get their feedback. It was also a great opportunity to observe the types of play that the structure offered, how children interacted with it and what they enjoyed.

We held three Pop-up events; In the Playground of George Carey Primary School at Lunch time, Outside George Carey Primary School, at Home time, and In Rivergate Square during Creative Barking & Dagenham’s ‘No Fit State’ Circus event. At our pop-ups we spoke to more than 250 people and obtained 89 written feedback cards, 52 representing Children (5-7yrs: 23 | 8-11yrs: 18 | 11+: 11) 38 representing Adults (27 parents, 4 Nursery Staff, 5 teachers, 2 Sports coaches). We had extremely positive responses to both the proposed playground and to the Mobile Cardboard Play Factory. November 2015 PLAYHILL: Summary of Engagement & Preliminary Findings

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Summary of Workshops: Note: We intended to hold 3 workshops with different age ranges. Despite numerous attempts, we were unable to organise a session with Riverside Secondary School. Kiddies Lounge Nursery We spent the morning with Kiddies Lounge Nursery and held a number of structured play observations with 3 groups aged 2-5years. The Nursery is located adjacent to the future Playhill site and they don’t have significant outdoor space on their premises so their input was extremely relevant.

Outcomes & Observations: From this session we obtained 14 drawings from the children, a group feedback card and feedback from the Nursery Staff. The children and the staff loved the interactive play structure. It was extremely helpful to see how they responded to it’s different elements and it highlighted the potential for a structure to provide mixed types of play: physical, imaginative and fine motor skilled. November 2015 PLAYHILL: Summary of Engagement & Preliminary Findings

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Summary of Workshops Continued: Year 4 Class, George Carey Primary School: One afternoon we spent the afternoon with the Year 4 class in George Carey Primary. We had a group discussion about play; what it is, why its important and the types of play they enjoy. Then the children got to make models of their dream playground and the equipment that would be in it.

Outcomes & Observations: From this session we obtained 22 models from the children, and group feedback. In the discussion we talked about different kinds of play and equipment that enabled it. We grouped our ideas into: Sports, Active, Imaginative, and Free play. The key qualities that we observed from this process were: Fun, Excitement, Social, Challenging, Imaginative, Opportunities to take safe risks and explore, Options for different activities, both play and social/personal - e.g. space for sports and relaxation. November 2015 PLAYHILL: Summary of Engagement & Preliminary Findings

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Study Trip to the Olympic Park Playgrounds: We took 48 Barking Riverside residents to visit three play areas within the Olympic park. We chose this area because of the landscape and innovative, integrated design. Armed with our thumbs up/ thumbs down view finders we wanted to find out what they liked and didn’t like.

Outcomes & Observations: From this session we obtained hundreds of like and (very few) dislike photos, numerous valuable conversations, and 18 pieces of detailed written feedback, describing people’s dream playgrounds. On the whole the children and parents loved the different play areas. People talked about how exciting and different the equipment was to things they had seen before. The Nest swing, rope walkways and bridges, high fireman’s pole, climbing walls, large slides, water pumps and sand pits were especially popular. Parents and children were also extremely enthusiastic about the outdoor gym equipment. A number of parents expressed concern about the sand regarding hygiene and maintenance as well as afro-hair. The landscaping was very popular, people liked the tall trees, flowers, natural play equipment and winding mysterious pathways. There were concerns about spiky plants, safety of high equipment integrated with the trees, and a lack of seating for adults. November 2015 PLAYHILL: Summary of Engagement & Preliminary Findings

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Quantitative & Qualitative Findings: This section breaks down our findings from across all of our engagement activities. It forms our qualitative analysis and summary of peoples priorities for the new playground based on conversations we had with local people. The tables quantify these themes and how many times they were mentioned positively or negatively in the written feedback. Key priorities emerged and have been grouped into the following sections: Age Range & Accessibility, Safety Factors, Landscaping, Facilities, Types of Play Areas, Sports Provision and Specific Kit; broken down further into: Climbing, Swings, Slides, Other Physical and Imaginative. TABLE 1: LANDSCAPING & MATERIALITY Summary:

• People had a lot more to say on this after study trip. Many directly said how much the landscaping and trees added to the atmosphere. • Request for tall evergreen, trees like a forest • Nice Flowers, interesting plants, not spiky • Pathways were suggested to be winding to create a sense of mystery.

Breakdown Trees

Positive Negative 9

Flowers/gardens

8

Greenery

6

Space to play

5

Maze

4

Pathways

4

Natural material

4

Hills

3

TABLE 2 : FACILITIES Summary:

• People wanted seating for parents which was comfortable, and near enough to observe children playing. • Shelter from sun, rain and wind, was mentioned frequently and requested to be connected with a picnic area. • Toilets, sinks and drinking water were also frequently suggested although there was concern about capacity to maintain. • Bins and dog bins came up frequently also.

Breakdown

Benches/seating

13

Shelter

8

Toilets/sinks/drinking water

8

Shop/ café

6

Picnic area

5

Bins

3

Dog waste bin

2

Transport/ access

1

Maintenance November 2015 PLAYHILL: Summary of Engagement & Preliminary Findings

Positive Negative 1

1 1 7


TABLE 3 : AGE RANGE & ACCESSIBILITY Summary:

• Provision of separate / mixed toddler equipment, located in the middle for visibility of older children. • Access for buggies and wheelchairs. • Provision for physical and SEN. • Not enough Youth Provision in the area. • Adults REALLY want outdoor gym equipment. • It was noted that there are no designated dog areas nearby.

Breakdown

Baby & Toddler

Positive Negative 10

Disabled access

6

Youth

4

Children (AGE 5 - 11)

3

Dogs

3

Adults

1

1

2

TABLE 4 : TYPES OF PLAY AREAS Summary:

• Suggestions of water pumps, paddling pools, swimming pools were surprisingly popular. • As was sand - however there were firm concerns re ringworm, afro hair, animal waste. Kids like - some adults don’t. • Sensory play equipment could be musical, tactile, nature walk, mirrors, good for SEN and younger children. • Community involvement in garden or sculpture was suggested.

November 2015 PLAYHILL: Summary of Engagement & Preliminary Findings

Water-play

Positive Negative 24

Sand pit

14

Adventure play

6

Relaxing area

5

Sensory play

4

Community involvement

4

Art/sculpture

4

Free play

2

2

8


TABLE 5 : SPORTS PROVISION Summary:

• A Football pitch is an absolute must! Suggested that it be integrated with Basketball, be lit, and marked on floor - all year round surface. • People were also very keen on a Skate/ BMX park as provision for Youth. From the Olympic Park trip • The children really enjoyed the table tennis. • Again Outdoor Gym equipment was very popular. Adults are very keen to have this. People referenced the park in Thames View and said it is very well used. • There was a sunken trampoline that was popular

Football

Positive Negative 33

Outdoor gym

28

Skate/BMX park

21

Basketball

19

Trampoline/ bouncy castle

14

Sports

6

Parkour

5

Running track

5

Tennis

4

Table tennis

4

Hockey

2

Archery

1

Ball play

1

1

TABLE 6: SAFETY FACTORS Summary:

• Some people raised safety concerns. • Common themes include safety surface, proximity to road, lighting, closing hours, • Use of natural materials needs to be monitored and reinforced. • Concern about children becoming territorial, suggestion of sign: ‘This Park is for everyone.’ • From Olympic Park People really liked the oversized lettering.

November 2015 PLAYHILL: Summary of Engagement & Preliminary Findings

Breakdown

General safety/ security

Positive Negative 8

Signage

4

Lighting

3

Soft play floor

3

Dust and wind

1

9


SPECIFIC KIT TABLE 7: CLIMBING

• Climbing equipment in various forms was popular. • People were particularly keen on the idea of a climbing wall that could be used by mixed ages. • People wanted climbing equipment to be both high & safe • Tunnels of mixed materials were mentioned including transparent and willow. From the trip to the Olympic Park • People really enjoyed the rope webbing, linked to natural elements and the way climbing equipment was interconnected with other kit. It joined up all the elements and made the space feel magical and like a fortress • The red climbing walls were very popular

TABLE 8 : SWINGS

• Swings were predictable very popular! • Having toddler swings next to bigger kids swings was suggested for parents with mixed age children. From the trip to the Olympic Park • The kids LOVED the nest swing, great for groups and also children with disabilities • They also really enjoyed the very tall long swings that were attached to netting at Tumbling Bay.

November 2015 PLAYHILL: Summary of Engagement & Preliminary Findings

Breakdown

Climbing wall

Positive Negative 18

Climbing frame

14

Monkey bars

10

Ropes poles/ spider web

7

Rocks/ tree-trunks

7

Tunnels/ pipes

6

Wobbly bridge/walkways

3

Obstacle course

3

Towers

2

Baby climbing frame

1

Breakdown Swings

38

Big/nest swing

6

Baby swings

5

Disabled swing

3

Tyre swing

2

10


TABLE 9 : SLIDES

• Slides were also extremely popular! • Suggestion for slide down ‘hill’ of Playhill From the trip to the Olympic Park • People liked the wide slides for many to fit on • Children also enjoyed the tubular and twirly slides.

TABLE 10 : SPEED

• Various ‘speed related’ equipment was popular • People were especially keen on the idea of a zip wire and referenced the park at Thames view. From the trip to the Olympic Park • Children and adults loved huge fireman’s pole.

TABLE 11 : IMAGINATIVE PLAY

• Numerous references were made to imagination or specific role-play based play equipment/ characters. From the trip to the Olympic Park • None of the equipment there dictated one imaginary situation but was still incredibly exciting and inspiring - a lot of this was to do with the landscaping: • The organic looking towers amongst the tall trees for example could have been some kind of elven towers in a secret forest, or a princesses castle. • The Flower gardens evoked Alice in wonderland • There was a general sense of magic. November 2015 PLAYHILL: Summary of Engagement & Preliminary Findings

Breakdown Slides

Positive Negative 35

Big slides

9

Water-slides

4

Swirly slide

4

Baby slides

2

Breakdown Zip line

Positive Negative 12

Roller coaster

6

Roundabout

5

See-saw

3

Fireman’s pole

3

Breakdown

Imaginative play

Positive Negative 25

Play house/den

5

Tree-house

5

Giant Lego

2

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Barking Playhill: summary of engagement & preliminary findings  
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