Sunday, 19 May 2013

Spring update 2013

Here is an update of what we have been doing since the Council have started the process to transition Playclubs into community options.

1) Playclub Consultation March 2013: 133 responses were received to our survey of what your priorities for the volunteer led Playclub are. We also held a public meeting at St Catherine's and reviewed any other suggestions we have had over the past few months. This information is being used to base a community business plan on and to inform our discussions with the council.

2) Ark in the Park Telegraph Hill Festival Event: We took over the Playclub on a rainy Sunday with the Ark in the Park organisers to run craft activities, singing, storytelling. Grow Wild and TGH Youth club also joined in and sold and donated refreshments as their event had been rained off.We managed to get more responses to our survey from families particularly working mums and dads who would want to use the Playclub at weekends.

3) Meeting with Community Groups: We met with and contacted local groups who could offer a governance structure for the new playclub or offer support and expertise. These included New X Gate Trust, Somerville Adventure Playground, Grow Wild and Telegraph Hill Centre, Ward Assemblies and Bearcubs. We also had contact with 2 community run playclubs in Greenwich to get advice on how to get a sustainable option going and what we can likely expect from the transition process.

4) Meeting with Council: We have been allocated a Council member of staff to work with and access to a Social Enterprise consultant. We have to submit a community business plan to the council for review by Mayor and Cabinet in early July. At a recent meeting we have discussed the council condition and lighting surveys of the Playclub building. We are currently in negotiations with the Council over these as we are contesting some of the expensive repairs we think are unreasonable for us to fund. Our local Councillors have taken up this issue and we hope to see a reduction in costs we are responsible for.

5) Community Business Plan Development: We are now putting together a proposal with the Telegraph Hill Centre to run as a sub-committee so we can have a community based governance structure as well as access to CRB checking and access to charitable funds. We are presenting to the parochial church council in early June so will let you know the outcome of their decision.

6) Seeking Skills for a Sub-Committee: If there is anyone who would like to take an active role setting up the community led playclub please get in touch. We would welcome any member of the community who has accounting or business experience or early years expertise even if they are not a user as we need a strong, diverse leadership group to oversee the running of the Playclub so it is in a sustainable, safe group of hands. We also welcome any future offers of volunteers for regular sessions at the Playclub or one off events or projects. Any ideas welcome. Please email

Many thanks for your support. Hopefully we will have positive news to report in June and July about what next for the Playclub.

Sunday, 10 March 2013

Ark in the Park

We have up to a year to find a solution for the playclub - please come along to the playclub on 24th march, 11-4 for craft, storytelling and singing as part of Ark in the Park.

We will be getting your views on future plans and you can also complete the survey here

Volunteers on the day would be welcome - please get in touch if you can make it.

Thursday, 28 February 2013

Campaign Update

What do you want? What could be better? Fill out a survey
Thank you to everyone so far who has filled out a survey. Please click on and spend 2 minutes giving us your views about what you want your future Playclub to be like and if you can offer any expertise or labour to help achieve it. The survey will close end of March in order to get as many user or potential users ideas as possible. Please get your family and carers to complete even if they don't use at the moment as we want to know what times would be best for the Playclub to open in the future so any provision is built around the community's priorities.
You can complete a paper copy of the survey at Saturday's meeting and they will be widely available through volunteers over the coming month. If support you could take some surveys to your local toddler or baby group for completion, please email us back.

Public Meeting, Saturday 2 March 1030-1130, St Catherines Church, Kitto Rd
Please attend to receive a full update on the Playclub, details on offers so far and express your ideas or concerns in person.
Children very welcome and we will try and find some toys to entertain them.
Thanks to Reverend Sheridan James for giving us use of the church for this meeting.

Community Offer Update
Tonight, members of the Campaign Team met with Council Officers, Children's Society and Cabinet Member Cllr Joan Millbank to discuss putting together a Community Offer to run Telegraph Hill Playclub. The Officers are going to research further questions we all have so that a 'business plan' can then be produced which can be put to Mayor and Cabinet in the future. We hope to meet with other individuals involved who have already put together draft plans to try and produce a proposal which is user driven and secures a sustainable, high quality future for our Playclub which does not charge at the point of entry. The Council are going to facilitate these discussions.
We are also meeting with interested community based organisations to see if they can provide a governance structure and access to a charitable status to enable the representative community running of the provision

Interested Organisations and Individuals
If you are interested in helping set up a community run Playclub with an offer to volunteer or have an idea to use the Playclub out of hours to generate income or use for a activity please get in touch so all these ideas can be presented to the Council. We need the community's enthusiasm to make this work.

Council News

The full council voted yesterday for up to an additional year of funding for all Playclubs when they agreed the Mayor and Cabinet's cuts budget decided 2 weeks ago which included £21m cuts and a 1.5% council tax rise. See newsshopper summary of meeting for more information

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Mayor's decision, Survey and Meeting

The Mayor has agreed to a year's further funding for the playclubs to give time to come up with a community solution.

We need your help!

Please could you complete our survey

Click here to take survey

and come to a meeting on

Saturday March 2nd


St Catherine's Church, Kitto Road, London SE14

to get an update on any proposals and to contribute your ideas

Thank you!
The campaign team

Saturday, 9 February 2013

Report from Ward Assembly Sat 9 February

Representatives from Save our Playclub Campaign Team attended the Telegraph Hill Ward Assembly today to keep the community updated with our campaign and what the Council is doing to develop alternatives to run the Playclub. 

Local Councillors expressed support to work with users and interested parties to get a children, family and carer focussed sustainable solution to keep it accessible and free at the point of entry.

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

CYP meeting

We attended the CYP committee meeting last week and they are recommending to Mayor and Council that funding continues for up to a year to help in the transition period until community offers are in place.

There is a Local Assembly meeting this Saturday 11am-1pm at Telegraph Hill Centre, and playclubs will be on the agenda if you can come along.