To give you an idea of who we are and what we do, we thought we would show you. Hornimans was started in the local community in 1969, 50 years ago this February.
We are an open access adventure playground in West London, which means children and young people can come and go as they choose. To carry out the work we do here as playworkers doesn't take magic powers, it just needs patience, a sense of humour, care and genuine love for the job we do and the children and young people we work with. Although we are all trained and have been working on adventure playgrounds for decades.
Caring and guiding children, supporting them in the activities they choose to take part in, or just to ensure that the adventure playground is safe to play in if they want to play on the structures or, garden, as well assessing the risks that can also benefit a growing child without wrapping them in cotton wool yet allowing them to express themselves and spread their wings whilst supervised by playworkers.
We have a team of trained playworkers, all who have first aid training and various skills, from music production, drama, arts and crafts, mentoring, gardening and who all have enhanced DBS.
What is an enhanced DBS?
A criminal record check at Enhanced Disclosure level is also often referred to as an Enhanced DBS. It is the highest level required for positions that involve caring for, training, supervising or being in sole charge of children or vulnerable adults.
You can see some of the activities/workshops that we do below. We have a building, a quiet garden, a kitchen garden (off site) and a goats pen.
Our funding comes from many different sources. We are commissioned by RBK&C, which means the council commission us to run a 'play service' within the borough. The commissioning goes towards staffing and running costs. As many adventure playgrounds we have been cut once again this year and this means we need to find a lot more money to be able to continue to run the adventure playground.
Activities and day trips as well as equipment and materials are fundraised from other sources. Funders are swamped with people asking for support and so we decided to crowdfund and ask you all for your help. We need a lot of work done here at Hornimans. Over the years, structures need to be maintained but also replaced when they get too old to repair and play bark needs to be topped up and replaced. We take great care with children's safety and health and safety wise the bark is a big part of our adventure playground being a safe place to play. You can see part of the playground in the images, we need a top up.
Play bark is the chosen play surface used on traditional adventure playgrounds. It needs to be topped up every few years, but it is very expensive to cover the size of our playground. You can see from some of the images that we have a lot of ground to cover. The images below are from over the past years of when we have had bark deliveries. The whole staff team and children and parents helped spread it out.
We need to be able to top up the bark from corner to corner of the adventure playground and to ensure its at the correct depth. It will cost £10,000. We need your help. The last time we had play bark delivered was three years ago. It arrives on palettes in huge sacks that then need to be placed around the adventure and then spread out. It's hard work, but great fun to do together and normally takes a day to do.
We have wooden climbing structures on the playground, some traditional and what you may recognise if you've ever visited a traditional adventure playground. Under these structures we must have a safe play surface and bark is ideal for this purpose.
Table tennis, basketball, champ, and a ‘quiet’ garden and kitchen garden where we run our ‘grow it yourself project’, growing veg from seed to kitchen table.
Our holiday programmes include several activities a day all of which are very popular: Arts and crafts: Sewing, applique, wall hangings, recycling old clothes using fabric paint, silk screen designs, felt brooches, bags, aliens and monsters made from recycled materials. Sculpture: using various materials: cardboards, wire and papier mache, clay, junk modelling. Collage, painting, manga drawing, hat & mask making, clock making, designing and painting t-shirts, tote bags, shoes.
Making jewellery, ceramic painting, face painting, moulding body parts (arms, nose, ears, hands, feet). Traditional screen printing and also updated method using thermofax printer. Design technology: computer design using Photoshop, illustrator. Digital photography and filming: recording for fun and feedback evidence and for fun to keep record of children at Hornimans as they grow and develop. Sporting activities: Tournaments from table tennis to football, cricket, tennis, Olympics, run outs, physical games to get the children moving together, ball it, volleyball, badminton.
Cooking and Baking: cooking club, making frozen lollies, baking cakes and cooking dishes from various cultures. Music and singing: Experimental music, making instruments, singing, Songwriting, rehearsal (commitment, discipline), music technology using mac to create songs, keyboard, drums, guitar, music tech using programmes on computer. Animal Care: Hornimans has four pygmy goats that we are committed to and promote good practice in animal care. We teach the children about animal care and the correct procedures in handling and caring for the goats.
Ok, so that gives you a picture of what we do here. We hope you will support us so we can buy the play bark.