#56d: Friends of Belair Park AGM

1:00pm, Dec.2, 2012. New Leaf shop, West Dulwich, SE21.

This was a brief meeting fulfilling constitutional necessities and reviewing key areas of progress during 2012. Officers elected for the coming year were: Chairman: Martin Heath, proposed by R. Ramadhan. Seconded by V. O’Connell. Secretary: Matt Reid. Proposed by V. O’Connell. Seconded
by H. Ramadhan. Treasurer: Vinnie O’Connell. Proposed by R. Ramadhan. Seconded by A.-M. Braun.

Progress on the playground. A report read by Anne-Marie Braun.

The Friends were delighted and grateful to hear in the Spring that Dulwich Community Council had approved £13,000 of Cleaner Greener safer funding from Southwark to provided additional equipment in the playground especially for under fives. Our earlier survey had found that the wooden boat
climbing frame is immensely popular but not all of it is suitable for very small children, who can also be intimidated by older children running around on it.

At the Public Meeting in Belair on June 13th Andrea Allen, Senior Project manager in Southwark’s Environment and Leisure department, gave us plenty of ideas to discuss for new play equipment. Some people liked the idea of continuing a maritime theme; whatever was chosen should fit with the
look of the boat climbing frame.

Matt Reid, Secretary of the Friends and father of two young children, and Anne-Marie Braun undertook to ask playground users what they would prefer. Over August/September we visited the playground many times, put up a display board with pictures, invited people to a meeting there. In all we talked to 72 child and adult groups, recording separately the opinions of under fives, five to seven year olds and adults. Much the favourite option was another climbing frame. So now we are waiting for a “Big Fish” with climbing ramp and double slide to be installed. Andrea Allen has even found a stepping blocks “Sea Monster” on special offer that can also be fitted within the budget.

At this time of year just getting into the playground can be unpleasant and hazardous because of the large puddles in the worn ground by the entrances, More good news is that Southwark is planning to pave those areas and in front of the benches, and to repaint the existing play equipment.

Looking to the future, our playground survey showed that there’s a great demand for more swings. One mother telephoned to say that her children had just waited half an hour for a turn. So the Friends of Belair Park are applying for more CGS funding for next year, to enlarge the swings area a little so that the number of swings can be increased from 4 to 7 or 8. Fingers crossed!

The Committee: friendsofbelairpark@hotmail.co.uk Tel. 020 8670 8924


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