“Amazing” Sycamore Adventure nets national award

Dudley’s Sycamore Adventure Playground has won a national award for putting children “at the heart of everything they do”.

The Dudley Council-owned facility has won a National Playwork Award for Frontline Playwork. Bosses at the site received the gong at the National Playwork Awards. The awards recognise the very best play facilities for children across the UK. Ali Wood, a member of the judging panel, said:

“It was a difficult decision as there were some great projects that are all doing fantastic work and going the extra mile.

“But Sycamore Adventure Playground did stand out as an organisation that had worked really hard at getting the balance right between making themselves increasingly sustainable whilst still putting children not just first, but at the heart of all they do.

“It’s an amazing, much loved and much needed place and is doing sterling work – they really deserve this recognition.”

It is the third National Playwork Award the centre, located in the middle of the Greens estate near Gornal, has won. It previously took home the Outstanding Playwork Provision and Playwork Team awards. Keith Rogers, play centre manager at Sycamore Adventure Playground, said:

“We’re absolutely delighted to win this award, which recognises the hard work put in by everyone here to make Sycamore the best it can possibly be for our children.

“We’ve got exciting plans to continue to develop and improve the site, so we won’t rest on our laurels. Seeing the smiles on children’s faces as they have their very own adventures here at Sycamore makes it all worthwhile.”

The award marks an incredible year of progress at the site, which is run on donation from families visiting the centre.

In January, bosses found out they had been successful with a £10,000 bid to build a brand new soft play zone through the Aviva Community Fund. It came second out of 1,000 projects listed for a public vote.

The cash will be used to build a soft play site upstairs on the mezzanine area inside at the site. It will be complete with soft floor panels, tunnels, stairs and slides, scramble nets and a range of other fittings.

And last summer, Sycamore Adventure received £2,000 – also through a public vote - from Tesco’s Bags of Help scheme to buy a new fleet of go-karts to replace ones damaged by vandals.

Sycamore Adventure Playground welcomes nearly 30,000 children every year, and is designed for children of all ages including those with disabilities. For further information about the site, log onto sycamoreadventure.co.uk.


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