Save The Dumps Adventure Playground in Bellingham

This petition made change with 1,301 supporters!

Lewisham Council are applying budget cuts to their Youth First services, and will most likely put these cuts into effect by closing all the adventure playgrounds run by Youth First Services in Lewisham.  We are aiming to keep The Dumps in Bellingham open as this adventure playground was the first built in Lewisham, in the early 1970's, and plays a large part in the local community. Many local parents volunteer here, and there is an excellent relationship between The Dumps and other youth communities, bringing children from different backgrounds together, and promoting relationships between them. By closing these services, Lewisham will be removing centres that are aimed at keeping Lewisham's children in a safe environment where an emphasis is placed on their physical, emotional and mental well-being. We are in a unprecedented period in our history where our children have had to adjust to losing access to their education and support structures. By removing these services, many children will lose yet another support structure from their lives. The Dumps adventure playground is used by many children with additional needs, and unlike many other services, they are able to access the playgrounds and specialist staff until the age of 25. The playground is also a safe space for many looked after children, and those classed to be at risk. They are provided with meals during school holidays, and a safe place to be during the day, and after school during term times.  We are in the middle of an obesity epidemic. The Annual Report for Public Health in Lewisham states that twenty-five percent of children in year 6 in Lewisham are obese, so Lewisham Council is choosing to close a service that provides a safe outdoors environment, with an emphasis on physical activities. We are seeing more and more young people suffering from mental health illnesses in Lewisham.  The same report shows that 9.5% of 5-16 year olds in Lewisham suffer from various mental health disorders, which these cuts will exacerbate even further. It is our aim to persuade Lewisham Council of the importance of The Dumps Adventure Playground, and save our children's safe haven within our community.

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