Tag Archives: East London

The busy season for Playwork is here!

8 Jun

Now that the Spring is finally here (fingers crossed that it stays) things in the Play world are hotting up!

Hackney Playbus in Millfields Park, Hackney

Hackney Playbus, where I work, is expecting it’s busiest summer for years, with free play sessions around East London planned on 6 or 7 days of the week all through the summer holidays! Children under 5 are welcome during term time and under 8 in school holidays. If you have children and live in East London have a look at the timetable and come along. You can also stay up to date with new sessions as they are announced by following  the Playbus on Twitter and liking the Facebook Page. Can’t wait to come to play? The Playbus will the at the Well Street Common Festival, (near north side of Victoria Park) on Sunday 9th June from 12noon.

 

Shoreditch Adventure Playground, Hackney.

I’m also working at an Adventure Playground in Hackney which is suddenly looking very beautiful and wild with wild flowers blooming and finches chattering in the trees. Adventure Playgrounds are fantastic urban play spaces. They are designed to compensate urban children for their lack of access to adult-free wild play spaces. You will find trained and experiences Play staff who are there to support play and assess risk vs benefits in these adventurous spaces. If you live in East London you probably aren’t far from your local Adventure Playground. There are more than 80 across London. If you have children and you’ve never been in, you should go and explore. Click here to see what Adventure Playgrounds are near you. They are usually open after school, on Saturdays and during school holidays. They are free and open access, meaning children are welcome to come and go as they please. 6 -16 year olds are welcome, along with under 5s with a carer. Get out there and explore!

Along side all this playing, the book making and creative work is taking a back seat for now, but I will be making whenever I can.

I’ll also be moving…to my 10th house in 9 years.

I hope you all get out and enjoy the beautiful weather!

A week in the life of a Playworker/Maker: Monday

27 Feb

Being a Playworker and making stuff for a living is a precarious way to live. I’ve got 3 jobs plus the self-employed making. But I wouldn’t change it for the world. I’m going to give you an insight into my week of job juggling in East London. Who else can say their week is like this…every week!

I spent my Sunday sewing new lined notebooks and taking a short trip on the DLR to Greenwich Observatory Park to do some drawing. I love that park, and what an amazing view of the city.

From up there you can see the whole skyline of the city which is currently littered with cranes as the pre-Olympics building work goes underway. You can’t escape it. Greenwich Park itself is planned to host the Equestrian events with a strong local campaign brewing against the plans.

This morning I kicked off my week with the all too familiar travel from Tower Hamlets to Hackney where I went to the house of the family where I work 1:1 with a young person with Aspergers Syndrome. I’ve worked supporting this young person since June 2010 and we get on brilliantly. Spending time together is most of the time a total pleasure. In the past I’ve worked as much as 20 hours a week with this young person but currently we have a once weekly catch up.

Today our task was to tidy a typical teenage bomb site of a bedroom. While we sorted the clothes I become agony aunt, acting as a sounding board for interactions with peers. This kind of coaching is crucial for a young person with Aspergers for whom implicit social boundaries and rules must be explicitly learned.

After we had cleaned the bedroom until the sense of achievement was strongly felt we were off on the bus to Madame Tussauds! What an exciting and fantastic time we had. There was even chance for some impromptu history lessons prompted by Nelson Mandela, Hitler, Margret Thatcher amongst many many more.

I was happy to have the chance to vent some anger at a man both me and the young person I work with know as the man taking all the money away from communities…

After meeting all the celebrities and international figures there were to meet we then went on an adventure to find this famed new Routemaster bus that Boris keeps banging on about. We went to Tottenham Court Road to catch the 38. After all the hype surprise surprise it is literally just 1 new bus which wasn’t in the area when we were waiting. The ‘Vanity Bus’ some people call it…hmm…whatever could they mean by that?!

And then home I came.

Tomorrow morning bright and early I’m on the Playbus in Walthamstow. Looking forward to telling you all about it.

Thanks to Kerrie Jane Stritton

19 May

I first saw this picture of Kerrie’s work in Angus Hyland’s ‘The Picture Book- Compemporary Illustration’.

I tried to find out more about Kerrie but there was a distinct lack of information. I found lots of other people who had links to her work, but all who seem to know no more than me.

I was pleased to have Kerrie comment on my wesite a few months ago. From her comment I made my way to her website. Lots more beautiful things. I was also pleased to find out that Kerrie had been Artist in Residence of Newham Council, creating hundreds of murals with children from the area.

I bought a copy of Crowded Skies. Thanks Kerrie for all of the kind and beautiful additions that came with the book and thank you very much for the free upgrade! I was so excited when it came throught the post.

I’ve been living in East London for nearly 2 years now and I love Crowded Skies. Maybe I’ll fly to the sea too.

Anyway, I am excited about Kerrie’s work and I wanted to say thanks for the book.