January 20th, 2021

Pam and Adelaide are residents of Barking and Dagenham’s Thames Ward.

Recognising a need in their area, the lack of community and play space for young children, and witnessing a neglected area, an unused skatepark, they sought to do something about it.

Lisa Adams, another Barking and Dagenham resident, who had recently raised the funds for a Valence Park play area overhaul, put Pam and Adelaide in touch with BD_Collective.

The lessons learned from Valence, and the information on various resources available to them, has been an enormous support in helping move their project forward.

These women have motivated the local residents to join in with these plans and helped to create a sense of vision for the project, as well as interacting with other local agencies and getting their support.

As organisations came together to support Pam and Adelaide, they were able to engage an organisation that did innovative community consultation, Blockworks; a design company that looks at the use of Minecraft and Lego style designs for play equipment.

Barking Riverside, who are in support of the project, were also able to give some insight and useful input into the park design.

Cameron Geddes, their local councillor, has also been instrumental in the process, giving them the support and backing that they needed.

They have recently been awarded £40,000 for the project from the Borough Innovation Fund, with Clear Channel/Tress for Cities.

The area, at the side of the Sue Bramley Centre, shares its space with the ShedLife project, set up by Susie Miller; a place where lonely and isolate men can come to pursue hobbies and experience community.

In fact, the original concept for a play park has now become the design for an intergenerational space, where everyone will be welcome and Pam and Adelaide are excited to experience the community coming together in this space.