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Annual Impact Report 2014

Welcome to the Annual Impact Report for 2014 Our new Annual Impact Report aims to show the work of the charity and it's impact on the children in Islington. Although we aim to fulfil our contracts with excellence, it means nothing without asking what difference our work actually makes to the children. As this is the first year of our new combined annual report and impact report, we have included information for the years 2012 - 2014.

What’s inside? 1

Message from the chair


Overarching aims


Outcomes for 2012 - 2014


Campaigning for children’s right to play


Securing and protecting play provision


Delivering play and childcare services


Supporting adventure playgrounds and play providers


Sharing knowledge, experience and good practice


Financial information for 2013 - 2014


Looking forward: 2014 - 2017


Structure, governance and management

Message from the chair

I’m pleased to report on a number of significant achievements made by Islington Play Association (IPA) during this period. In April 2013 IPA took over the running of Islington's six voluntary-sector adventure playgrounds - Toffee Park, Lumpy Hill, Martin Luther King, Timbuktu, Crumbles Castle and Hayward. All those involved worked incredibly hard to ensure that there was a smooth transition and there was limited disruption in the play opportunities for Islington’s children. The trustees would like to welcome these new staff to IPA and take this opportunity to express our thanks for the dedication and commitment that they have shown. IPA is keen to share its expertise with others and staff have been involved in delivering a range of training courses to other play providers. IPA continues to enable and support partners to offer creative, inclusive, challenging and fun play opportunities for all children in Islington. A key part of this was the delivery of our ‘Finding Nature Through Play' project at Islington’s twelve adventure playgrounds. Paradise Park Children’s Centre continues to offer excellent, play-focused services for children under 5 years and their families to help them thrive and make the most of life's opportunities. Staff have worked hard to develop the use of outdoor space at the centre which contains an adventure playground specifically designed for under-fives. I want to take this opportunity to thank IPA’s board of trustees for their contribution during 2013 - 2014. The trustees would like to thank IPA’s staff and volunteers for their continued hard work. Your commitment to playfulness continues to create, improve, promote and preserve opportunities for the children of Islington to play. We would particularly like to acknowledge and recognise the leadership shown by senior managers and their skills and commitment over what has been a challenging time.

Lorna Lewis Chair of Trustees

Martin Luther King

Treehouse Project

Healthy Holidays

Annual Impact Report 2014 | 01

Overarching aims for 2012 - 2014

Overarching aims for 2012 - 2014 1 3 2 Campaigning for children's right to play

We were partners of the review that saw continued protection of the funding for play due to the recognition of the importance of free play for the children of Islington, despite the council having to reduce spending by ÂŁ127 million.

Securing and protecting play provision

IPA persuaded the London borough of Islington to sign a deed of dedication ensuring that all of the adventure playground land in Islington can never be sold, built on or used for anything except children's play.

Delivering play and childcare services

Whilst continuing to deliver Paradise Park Children’s Centre, IPA delivered many projects across all 12 adventure playground sites, adding value to and building on existing services and provision.

Did you know?

Islington only has 6% of its space available for play compared to Camden, with 18%, and Hackney, with 42%. 02 | Annual Impact Report 2014

Overarching aims for 2012 - 2014

5 4 Supporting adventure playgrounds and other play providers

IPA successfully bid to run half of the adventure play services in Islington and continued to deliver creative and innovative play projects across the borough, including cooking healthy lunches with and for the children, running a play library of fantastic resources and supporting volunteers to get involved with play.

In 2013 our turnover increased by over a third.

Sharing knowledge, experience and good practice in play

We expanded our social media impact using Twitter, Facebook, blogs and regular news emails. We also published a book: “Slow Down Building in Progress: How to support children to build dens and tree houses in their play� and presented at five conferences, including leading on the Risk It! conference.

Our staff numbered 38 in 2012 and increased to 80 by 2014.

This period has seen IPA move into the 'large' charity category as defined by NCVO.

Annual Impact Report 2014 | 03

Outcomes Outcomesfor for2012—2015 2012—2015

Outcomes for 2012 - 2014 Since Islington Play Association took over the adventure playgrounds contract in April 2013, our playgrounds are open an average of five additional hours per week in the term time each, and an average of 15 hours per week in the school holidays. That’s an additional 2000 hours of adventure play per year. The attendance rate at our adventure playgrounds has also increased by 26%. In addition to the adventure playground and children's centre contracts, IPA has created and delivered a number of individual programs and projects since 2012, which have brought in £250,000:            

Greenspace projects Finding Nature Through Play Growing & Playing Healthy Holidays Play, Past, Present and in Perpetuity Social Action Fund Support to VCS groups Supporting Impact and Change Play Library Training for Lambeth Treehouse Project Other training, grants and projects

Islington Play Association’s presence online has seen steady growth over the years. As of November 2014, the charity has 590+ followers on Twitter, 150+ likes on Facebook and regularly exceeds 40,000 hits a month to its website.

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Outcomes for 2012—2015

Adventure playgrounds are part of their community, allowing children to see themselves within the wider environment where they live.

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Campaigning for children’s right to play

Campaigning for children’s right to play A little boy aged six attends our adventure playground. He is a selective mute which means he does not talk to anyone who he does not trust, he doesn’t even talk to his teachers at the school. After attending for some time he slowly built up the confidence to gesture to adults and other children if he wanted something. Over time he started to tap adults and gesture them down to his level where he will now whisper in their ear. His voice is actually really deep and surprising to listen to. By spending time at the playground he developed confidence, selfesteem and now feels that he can trust the staff enough to talk to them. This is a huge step for this young person who now talks to a handful of children on the playground and to all of the staff that work here. Stacey Jeakins, Playground Co-ordinator

06 | Annual Impact Report 2014

Delivering play and childcare services Campaigning for children’s right to play

Child A has been attending one of our adventure playgrounds for 3 - 4 years. She is really artistic and really loves nature and animals, and is our resident vet. She can be quite cold sometimes, her parents have alcohol issues and have in the past come and shouted at staff onsite. When I first started here her back could go up at any little thing. She would create and storm off or just not engage with you. She is still quite feisty and sometimes a bit cold for her age, but she has an amazing artistic temperament that she can express at the playground. This is normally expressed in messy play with mud, paint or clay, really anything that she can get her hands on.

One Saturday she glittered the playground, she went around doing fairy dust and even though the other kids got quite fed up that there was no glitter left. I can only imagine she had a world of her own that was fairy led. She often makes art for people with different mediums: she may use bark or sand or as she did one day, used old teabags and made ageing maps. She leads on her own projects. She may be a great artist one day I like to believe, but in the meantime needs this space to express herself - where else will she do what she does? She needs to explore all the natural opportunities that this space provides and she is an amazing child because she finds all the amazing things herself. Dawn Jennings, Playground Co-ordinator Annual Impact Report 2014 | 07

Securing and protecting play provision

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Securing and protecting play provision

Securing and protecting play provision In 2012 IPA set itself some ambitious goals which included the “specific aim to promote and secure legal protection for the land currently occupied by Islington’s adventure playgrounds, so that the future use of these sites for free, open-access adventure playgrounds will be assured”. After years of lobbying and campaigning IPA was successful in persuading Islington Council to protect the areas of land known as the adventure playgrounds in perpetuity through a deed of dedication signed with Fields in Trust, meaning that Islington Council have designated 12 sites as play spaces and QE11 Jubilee fields.

Only 12% of Islington homes have gardens.

This example of the charity spearheading a successful campaign to protect play for the children of Islington was recognised by the Executive of the council writing to “Express its thanks to the IPA for (your) work on securing this land for adventure play”. IPA has already been approached by many areas across the country who are looking to do something similar and we hope that our good practice and example will be shared and replicated for children across the United Kingdom.

Islington brings in legal measure to protect adventure playgrounds:

Annual Impact Report 2014 | 07

Delivering play and childcare services

Delivering play and childcare services 3,000

Over children took part in our Finding Nature Through Play project. Children are sometimes perceived in a similar way as natural spaces, as wild things which need to be controlled and managed, but just as natural habitats often need to be left to their own devises to flourish, so do children. From 2010 till 2013 IPA delivered its Finding Nature through Play project which was funded by Natural England through Access to Nature, as part of the Big Lottery Fund's Changing Spaces programme. Over 3,000 children and their playworkers enhanced 11 adventure playgrounds and a public park by digging ponds, planting and making insect hotels, earth and turf sculptures, and clay ovens. By making these changes children have provided themselves and the children of the future with hundreds of loose parts to play with. 10 | Annual Impact Report 2014

The most important outcome of this project is that thousands of children are now able to play freely in beautiful places that they have created themselves. The Finding Nature through Play project fed into Tim Gill’s 2011 Sowing the Seeds report which found that regular contact with the natural world:  Boosted children’s motor development skills  Helped children to manage their moods  Improved children’s concentration in class

“Everyone’s always following me if I’m angry and asks me about things. I can’t say then. I feel like hitting someone. I want to be on my own until later. If I’m in the bit where the trees are, at the back and no-one comes, that’s all I want. I’ll talk to you after.”

Leon, aged 9, explained how he managed his emotions when he was at one of the Islington adventure playgrounds.

Delivering Play and childcare services

Paradise Park Children’s Centre Paradise Park Children’s Centre offers a wide range of services for children and families in the Holloway area. IPA is proud to be part of the network of provision funded by Islington to support families living in challenging circumstances. It is very important to IPA that the resources in the borough for children are open to as many children as possible – not just those in nurseries or childcare but for those who come to free services. This is why we share our garden and our café with families and children in the area. The Children’s Centre currently has two areas identified as outstanding by Ofsted: 1. The quality of care, guidance and support offered to families, including those in target groups: ‘Some families in the area face significant barriers and live with very complex problems. However, the response from the centre is sensitive, yet professional, and increases the life chances of families.’ 2.

The extent to which equality is promoted and diversity celebrated, illegal or unlawful discrimination is tackled: ‘The promotion of equality at the centre is exemplary. Inclusive practice for all families, such as those with children who have additional needs, is strongly promoted and leads to improved outcomes for them. ‘

Paradise Park Children’s Centre is the first ever under fives provision to be awarded the Quality in Play Award in recognition of our excellent play focused approach across the whole service. Ofsted have said  ‘Children are happy and safe at the setting and they enjoy warm relationships with staff and each other.’  ’All practitioners spend their time appropriately engaging and playing with the children.’  ‘The outside garden area is a well resourced and exciting learning environment.’ Paradise Park has been praised for its use of Forest school methods by Ofsted and in the Healthy Children’s Centres assessment due to our trips to Barnsbury woods and our all weather approach onsite which sees the doors of the nursery always open allowing children free choice to go outside as they want to. The centre is part of IPA’s children and young peoples strategy. Bringing excellent play opportunities to all ages.

Our reach to low income households for 2013 - 2014 is 92%, up from 77% in 2012 2013. Annual Impact Report 2014 | 11

Supporting adventure playgrounds and other play providers

Supporting adventure playgrounds and other play providers A boy, 8 years old, diagnosed ADHD, extremely articulate and with a million ideas about who he could be each day. He often disappears into the woodland space as a warrior, sometimes with painted face and an axe to grind with another tribe, and always with some homemade weaponry. When I visit, I am shown the weapons made, told how they were constructed and given a glimpse of the imaginary world he cocreates with the environment, friends and playworkers at the adventure playground. I have witnessed enactments of dramatic slayings with triumphant displays of victory, with willing victims laying at his feet. This is a great example of how an adventure playground can benefit children. Together they are able to create moments which draw on all aspects of life, they are able to act out situations spontaneously, responding and developing unscripted stories which unfold before and between them, of which they are both in control and out of control. These moments require an ability to be highly responsive and adaptable to the ever changing, unpredictable circumstances that the adventure and actors within it present. 12 | Annual Impact Report 2014

Their experiences are not driven by a wish to learn or accrue skills but by fun and freedom, and the adventure taking place right now, when they pose the question ‘what if’ e.g. I become a warrior or make a weapon, and by feelings, which are so enjoyable, that even in moments of being slain, make them want more and endeavour to create more possibilities to continue playing. An adventure playground differs greatly from other environments where children spend most of their time. Onsite children can rearrange the world, make connections with other children and adults in ways that could not be planned with structure or direction and in ways that benefit the individual, the other children, the culture of the playground and of course the community. To have a space which satisfies the imagination, energy and creativity of children also benefits families as this young boy’s nan often says, ‘’I don’t know what we’d do without Crumbles, he’d drive us up the wall.’’

In January 2013, 11.42% of 5-12 year olds were using adventure playgrounds, and a year later in January 2014 it had risen to 12.65% that’s almost 500 extra children.

Supporting adventure playgrounds and other play providers

38% of 10-11 year olds are obese. Prevention and early intervention are more cost effective than cure.


of the Islington population is under 20.

Islington Play Association believes in two main areas for interventions: 

Healthy eating including encouraging a connection with the natural, growing world

Physical activity through play Millions of tons of food are wasted every year by the UK food industry. At the same time, there are so many Londoners who cannot afford to feed themselves and their families properly. Islington Play Association has been working with Plan Z Heroes whose mission is to support and inspire food businesses who are willing to donate their surplus food to local charities.

We have been picking up bread, pastries and fresh organic vegetables from local shops - Farm Direct and the De Beauvoir Deli – and taking them to the adventure playgrounds where children have been cooking healthy snacks and meals with them. This work is just a small part of our Healthy Holidays project which is funded by the Department of Health’s Health and Social Care Volunteering Fund.

Annual Impact Report 2014 | 13

Sharing knowledge, experience and good practice

Sharing knowledge, experience and good practice in play Over the last three years at IPA, one of my roles has been as Quality in Play Mentor, where I have sought to embed the Quality in Play assurance scheme into what we do as an organisation.

Toffee Park, Timbuktu, Hayward and Lumpy Hill Adventure Playgrounds have all attained Quality in Play accreditation.

Developed by London Play and now managed by Play England, it is a nationally recognised quality assurance scheme that demonstrates the play quality and robust governance of a setting or organisation. Rachel Mathers Adventure Playground Manager

In 2012 Paradise Park Children’s Centre was the first ever under fives provision to achieve Quality in Play accreditation from Play England.

Boys and girls attendance rates on our adventure playgrounds have evened up, with more girls coming to play. All Islington Play Association sites are registered with Ofsted. 14 | Annual Impact Report 2014

Sharing knowledge, experience and good practice

I began working for Islington Play Association in 2009 to deliver the Tree House Project, a three year project funded by the Big Lottery. On adventure playgrounds, the project worked to return ownership of the sites to the children through giving them the tools, materials and the freedom to create their own play structures. Adventure playgrounds, throughout time have been recognised by their child built structures but the tradition was disappearing in a climate of parental fear, health and safety demands and playworkers’ fear of litigation. Ironically the attempt to ensure the safety of children by removing all risks was having a detrimental effect on children’s development of skills to ensure their own safety and on the variety of experiences available to children. The Tree House Project worked closely with The Royal Society for Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) who had a similar approach from their own scheme ‘Learning about Safety by Experiencing Risk’ (LASER). The Tree House Project challenged ideas about children’s capabilities, particular in the area of managing risk, increased playworkers’ confidence in supporting building activity and worked throughout the borough to change attitudes towards children’s play.

Whilst returning the tradition and practice of children building back to Adventure Play was a key outcome of the project, increasing access to quality play experiences for all children was equally important. This drive saw the project work in playgrounds, on estates, in parks and in schools. The project worked with playworkers, tenants associations, parks staff and teachers as well as over 2,000 children. The project won an International Play Association ‘Right to Play’ Award and IPA published a ‘How to’ manual to encourage anyone interested in supporting children to use tools and build dens and tree houses in their play. This practice continues to be a focus for my work within the organisation as does improving play practice on all sites in order to give children in Islington the broadest range of quality play experiences and as such, the best chances for healthy and positive development. In my current role as Services Director I have continued to support progress in changing attitudes towards children experiencing and learning to assess risk in play. The Tree House Project had a profound effect and contributed to a change in policy in Islington from Risk Assessment to Risk Benefit Assessment for play activities.

Wendy Jeeves, Services Director

Digital copy: Slow Down Building in Progress: How to support children to build dens and tree houses in their play Annual Impact Report 2014 | 15

Financial information for 2013 - 2014

Financial information for 2013 - 2014 Income: ÂŁ1,484,201

Expenditure: ÂŁ1,438,149

Full accounts are available on request. Auditor: Chapmans Associates Limited, 3 Coombe Road, London, NW10 0EB Bankers: Barclays Bank, The Co-operative Bank & COIF Charities Deposit Fund 16 | Annual Impact Report 2014 | 17

Financial information for 2013 - 2014

IPA is grateful to the following funders for their support in 2013-2014:        

Big Lottery Fund - Natural England City Bridge Trust Department of Health Heritage Lottery Fund Islington Council Santander Social Action Fund 29th May 1961 Charitable Trust

Annual Impact Report 2014 | 17

Looking forward: 2014 - 2017

Looking forward: 2014 - 2017

18 | Annual Impact Report

Looking forward: 2014 - 2017

Annual Impact Report | 19

Structure, governance and management

Structure, governance and management Board of Trustees Chair Lorna Lewis

Trustees Jennifer Chan (left Dec 2013)

Juergen Heeg (joined Dec 2013)

Treasurer Dominic Wollweber

Mick Conway

Chris Hignett (left Aug 2013)

Kelle Dittmar (left Dec 2013)

Melea Mapes (joined Mar 2014)

Sarah Grand

Denise Ward

Vice Treasurer Ekaterina Aristovich Secretary Suzanne Murray

Olinka Greenhill

Head Office Chief Executive Officer Anita Grant Director of Operations Suzanne Murray Play Practice Manager / Services Director Wendy Jeeves Director of Finance Biniam Ghebreyesus

Nature Play Development Worker Lucy Benson Adventure Playground Development Worker Claudette Barnes (left Nov 2013)

Finance Worker Bruna Ibraj Play Development Worker / Adventure Playgrounds Manager Rachel Mathers

HR Administrator Megan Harries (left Aug 2013)

Adventure Playground Development Worker Andrea Quaintmere (left Nov 2013)

Administrator Parvin Hussain (joined Jan 2014)

Project Coordinator Quoc Truong (joined Mar 2014)

Paradise Park Children’s Centre Head of Centre Helen Richards

Family Support Worker Joy Ayeni

Senior Family Support Worker Kemi Lawal

Nursery Manager Zain Edoo (joined Jul 2013)

Administrator Nicholas Carley (left Dec 2013)

Children’s Cook Virginia Moreno Catena

Deputy Leader of Learning Fatima Bahmani

Centre Reception and Outreach Sarah Ghartey

Cafe Manager Lisa Wales

20 | Annual Impact Report 2014

Structure, governance and management

Adventure Playgrounds, Nursery & Outreach Team Playground Co-ordinators Dawn Jennings

Deputy Playworkers Lydia Bailey

Vicky Cunningham

Kerry O’Connor

Jonathan Biles (joined May 2013)

Chelsea Freed

Samadul Haque

Maureen Bull

Jordan James

Stacey Jeakins

Imogen Carter (left Mar 2013)

Frankie May

Darren McLaughlin

Mark Challis

Jack Matsell-Nish

Ellen Vellacott

Gilmar Cruz Silva

Early Years Workers Pauline Atkinson

Julita John

Early Years Support Workers Shakherah Akhtar (left May 2013)

Tracey Everitt

Jermaine Payne

Zarah Argel

Marie Forde

Nazifa Rahman

Anne Lahart-Tigrine

Tracey Hollis

Emma Smith

Amo Mahadi Patricia Okwan Cinzia Tassinari

Sessional Playworkers Chris Achampong, Mandy Alloway, Margaret Gaskin, Gennet Tecle, Maya Gurung, Jake Hally-Milne (joined Aug 2013), Fataha Khanom, Letisha Hunte, Heruth Iyasue, Anisa Lucey, Simone Mahoney, Sabah Mohamed, Daniel Obadiaru, Juliana Obregon-Ramos, Rebecca Richards, Fabiana Righi, Maureen Palmer (joined May 2013), Kitty Schuchard, Hannah Shannon, Cadi Wen St John, Lee Tucker, Jamie Ward.

Volunteers We would like to thank the many volunteers who make our work possible.

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Islington Play Association

Paradise Park Children’s Centre

West Library Bridgeman Road London N1 1BD

164 Mackenzie Road London N7 8SE Telephone: 020 7697 7330 Fax: 0207 697 4429 Email:

Telephone: 020 7607 9637 Email: Like us on Facebook - Follow us on Twitter - @IslingtonPlay Connect with us on LinkedIn - Subscribe to us on YouTube -

Registered Charity: 1086165 Company No. 3989283 registered in England & Wales

Islington Play Association Annual Impact Report 2014  
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