What happened to London Playing Fields Foundation in early February is a valuable lesson for all playing field providers out there. Out of the blue we became the latest victim of industrial-scale fly-tipping when a group of intruders broke into one of our grounds in Greenford and covered an entire football pitch with rubbish
20 January 2017
It was reassuring to hear the Prime Minister recently announce a comprehensive package of measures to transform mental health support in schools, workplaces and communities. Now that funding will be made available, rather the re-invent the wheel, the Government should be looking to champion and replicate those innovative interventions that have emerged over the past few years, such as our Coping Through Football project, to improve the lives of one of society’s most disadvantaged and marginalised groups.
20 January 2017
“Kids are getting fatter because we sold off all the playing fields” is a typical headline whenever the media focuses on the obesity time bomb where one in three children in London are overweight or obese. Unfortunately, the argument usually stops there and no one ever joins the dots and explains how they can make our kids healthier and I’m not just talking about the ones who are already playing organised sport. So I would like to describe how we have tackled the issue with an innovative partnership involving a local primary school.
It was great last week at the London Sport Engagement Event at The Oval to share a platform with Caroline Brooks (London Sport), Sarah Ridley (London Marathon Charitable Trust) and Helen Griffiths (Fields in Trust) to discuss the challenges facing London’s playing fields stock over the coming years. The session provoked much debate and one thing became abundantly clear. At a time when London Sport is aiming to get a million more people active by 2020 it is illogical that the very places where this activity takes place are under threat.
Don’t you just love those David Attenborough natural history programmes where he passionately describes the plight of another endangered species? And following the programme the charity promoting the cause is inundated with donations from people like you and me who want to see the species protected forever. Playing fields are a bit like that but no-one is making emotive television programmes campaigning against their loss. This is strange considering how much they play a part in people’s lives.