The playground is staffed by qualified playworkers throughout the year, opening after school and on Saturdays during term times and Monday to Friday all day during school holidays. We have over 1,000 registered users plus accompanied casual use by up to another thousand children. We can see usership from 450/day to 20/day (summer holiday/winter after-school). In addition to open access play, the site has become known as a place to get informal (ie not ‘official’) support, is a food bank and clothes/bedding bank distributor, a referral point for children and parents into other services and a meeting point for parents and families, many of whom experience isolation.
We open two evenings a week just for teenagers (although dozens do come after-school as well) and we also support other voluntary youth work in the surrounding area. And two days a week we work in partnership with SoLO (Solihull Life Opportunities) who bring groups of disabled children and/or young people to the playground – we want to build on this so that more of these children can come at other times too.