Shadwell children welcome Boris Johnson to their playground

15 January 2014

London Mayor Boris Johnson, People’s Health Trust Chief Executive John Hume, and Richard Desmond, Chairman of Northern & Shell, were welcomed by children from Shadwell to their adventure playground during one of their after school sessions.

Shadwell Community project recently received funding of £25,000 using money raised by HealthPromote through The Health Lottery.

Mark Halden, Project Coordinator for Shadwell Community Project said: “For many of the kids round here, this is the only outdoor space they have – apart from the streets. It is a natural play space open for the kids most evenings and at weekends and they are down here come rain or shine. It is their place to socialise, get plenty of physical activity and have fun. It has been a part of the community since the 1960s, and some of the grandparents that come here used to play here themselves. This project is vital for the kids wellbeing. That means funding is also absolutely vital. We rely on donations and grants like this to keep the project open and it is tougher than ever to secure such funding.

The Mayor had chance to see the benefit this outdoor space brings to the community of Shadwell, where many children and young people have very limited access to places to play and exercise – and he  tried out some of the swings while he was there.

Mayor of London, Boris Johnson said: “Local initiatives like Shadwell Community Project are at the heart of what makes London a great city. The Health Lottery has already supported a huge variety of excellent schemes across the capital and the pledge to reach £10 million by 2016 means hundreds more schemes like this one will help Londoners live healthier, and ultimately happier lives.

Sarah Holmyard, a parent of one of the regular children at the playground, said: “We live in a 15th floor flat, without any outdoor space so this playground is a god send. It’s close to home, and helps to keep the kids out of trouble! They can run off energy, have fun, and also learn about cooking and art.

John Hume, Chief Executive of People’s Health Trust said: “Community initiatives like Shadwell Community Project are critical for the health of local families whose economic and living circumstances can often mean that they do not have access to outdoor spaces. This project enables children to play together in a safe space and gives lone parents, parents and grandparents the chance to meet up regularly.

People’s Health Trust is able to support hundreds of similar local initiatives across London where the gap between our richest and poorest is, sadly, widening. On average, people who are poorer die 7 years younger than most of the population and spend a staggering 17 years more of their shortened lives with a disability. Thanks to the money raised by society lotteries through The Health Lottery, we are able to begin to address this health gap. The Health Lottery pledge to have raised £10m for London by 2016 is very welcome news to us and Londoners alike.

In the two year’s since launch, People’s Health Trust has supported over 150 projects in London, with over £5 million raised for good causes by 6 society lotteries through The Health Lottery.

Glamis Adventure Playground is run by Shadwell Community Project, a local charity which champions shared community activity.

To see pictures from the visit, click here.

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