Read below an excerpt from HiFX's blog of their experience volunteering at Lady Allen playground.
"On Wandsworth Common, a short walk from the hustle and bustle of Clapham Junction, there is a wonderful haven for disabled children and their families called Lady Allen Adventure Playground, run byKIDS Charity. And last week, 12 volunteers from HiFX were lucky enough to go and visit it as part of the Corporate Volunteering programme. We all had a brilliant time, so we wanted to share this summary of how we got on.
At the start of the day, the team from KIDS Charity showed us around the playground. They have an indoor area with an art room and a soft play area, as well as a large outdoor space with tree houses, rope bridges, zip wire, sandpit, sensory garden and more. At the heart of the garden is a beautiful blossom tree, planted by Lady Allen herself when she opened the playground over 40 years ago.
Then the team took us inside to tell us about the work they do. They support children with a range of disabilities, including Cerebral Palsy, Autism, learning disabilities, ADHD, visual and hearing impairments, developmental delays and emotional or behavioural problems. The service also offers valuable respite for parents, who can use the time to get household jobs done or just relax and enjoy some “me” time.
The focus of all activities is very much on what the children can do. They are encouraged to express themselves in their own way, which is something they can often find challenging and they don’t always have the opportunity to do. We were told that, if a child wants to sit in a puddle and throw paint around all day, then that’s what they do.
This is a brilliant approach that is clearly much appreciated by the families. But it does result in the playground needing significant maintenance work, which is where we came in. Our job was to help renovate the playground and make it feel brand new for the next time the children come to visit.
Our goal at the beginning of the day was to repaint the mural outside the building. The previous one has been there for a while now; the paint was starting to flake and it had also been covered with contributions from various children. So we got to work preparing the wall for a fresh coat of paint.
Unfortunately, after a couple of hours, the weather changed from beautiful sunshine to pouring rain and we had to hastily retreat inside. However, there was plenty of work to be done inside too, as the whole soft play area needed to be repainted.
By the end of the day, we were all very tired and our arms were aching, but the room looked much better for a fresh coat of paint in lots of bright colours. And we even had some time to sit back and relax after all our hard work.
The team at KIDS Charity were lovely hosts, telling us about why our help was important to them – and keeping us well-supplied with tea and chocolate biscuits throughout the day. And for us, it was a great way for us to get to know people from other teams across the business, and we were all delighted that we had the chance to support this great charity. We hope that we will be able to come back again soon."
A big thank you to HiFX for donating their time to help out at our playground! Check out more of their blog posts here.
We are always looking for businesses to help us in a range of different ways. If you’d like to find out more, visit our Corporate Support page.