Croydon Council and Lakes Playground Action Group
In 2016, Croydon Council and Lakes Playground Action Group (LPAG) was awarded £19,500 towards the refurbishment of the South Norwood Lakes play area. This refurbishment included providing high quality and accessible play equipment to enhance opportunities for children to play freely, aiming to increase levels of physical activity amongst local children.
Since the project has been completed, Croydon Council and LPAG have reported that over 80% of visitors now stay in the Lakes play area for more than 30 minutes compared to just 55% before the refurbishment, as the new equipment is exciting and has more variety, encouraging children to play for longer periods of time. With the installation of new sensory and accessible equipment, the play area has also been awarded the PiPA award for inclusive play equipment, recognising that the play area now provides opportunities for children with disabilities and their carers and families to engage in play.
The project has also resulted in an increase in the number of people visiting both the play area and the surrounding South Norwood Lakes, with many families now walking around the lake and the wider grounds when visiting the play area. A reported increase in visitors to the play area of 300% also demonstrates how the improvements to the play area are encouraging more children to play and be physically active more often.
When considering the impact of the project, Croydon Council and LPAG state “it is clear that more children are visiting the park, using the playground and staying for longer.” A focus of The London Marathon Charitable Trust is to provide funding to help thousands of children and adults across the UK to become and remain active for life and the South Norwood Lakes play area refurbishment is proving to be a great opportunity for more children to be more active.