Weavers started life as an unused piece of land, which was taken on by local parents as a play space for children in the surrounding area. Over the next few years this space began to evolve into a popular early form of an adventure playground. Children from all over Bethnal Green came to use the land as there was limited green space available for them to use.
As the years went by and the playground grew in popularity, local parents decided that the playground needed to secure its future for local children. On Wednesday 24th April 1974 Weavers Adventure Playground (Association) started life as a registered charity.
“Play is an essential part of a child’s life and vital to their development. It is the way children explore the world around them and develop and practice their skills. It is essential for physical, emotional and spiritual growth, for intellectual and emotional development, and acquiring social and behavioural skills.”
The Charter for Children’s Play 1998
From day one the main aim of the playground has been to provide a play environment which is physically varied, interesting and challenging for children / young people. A space where children can socialise, be creative and feel free to play in their own way, and on their own terms.
Over the years the playground has seen many changes in staff, management, volunteers, services and activities provided and changes within the local community. One of the major changes has been the introduction of qualified play workers who are highly skilled professionals who enhance and support children’s play. Parents have always been an important and vital part in the playground, (after all it was local parents who formed Weavers) and will continue to do so.
Weavers’ staff and management have always actively promoted the social benefits that play can bring to the individual child or community as a whole, these include:
Community Cohesion –
Through the acceptance and respect for others, their culture, religion and beliefs.
No discrimination directly or indirectly.
Health and Wellbeing of the individual –
Develop confidence, self-esteem, co-ordination, strength, stamina, resilience, emotionally and conflict resolution.
Reduction in Anti-Social Behaviour –
By providing a facility where young people can seek excitement, challenges and adventure, one to one and group workshops.
The playground has a large grassed play area which has a variety of exciting and challenging play structures, a basketball area and a fenced in astro turf area. A large indoor area is used for pool, table tennis, board games, arts and crafts and computers. A fully equipped kitchen which serves tuck and lunches, an office area, toilet block and a stock room. There is also an under 5’s area which is fenced off from the main playground. The playground is open to all children aged 8 – 16 years and those under 8 are welcome but must be supervised at all times by an adult, the playground is here to be enjoyed by the whole family.
With the support from the local authority, various funding bodies and more importantly the local community the playground has celebrated over 40 years of playing a positive role within the community.