The beginnings of a collaborative space built by people in Bearwood


PLAY in Bearwood at Build, Make & Mend on Sunday 3rd June

Build, Make & Mend / Sunday 3rd June / 11am-4pm / Free / Dorothy Parkes Centre, Church Road, Smethwick, B67 6EH

A day for residents, children and families to explore the potential of a new community space built by and for the people of Bearwood. We’ll hear from experts, host talks, workshops and family making sessions too. All this to help us think about how to make Bearwood an even better place to raise children with a community hub at the very heart. Please, come and help us to imagine what’s possible.

In this blog post we're featuring how we’ll be exploring PLAY at Build, Make & Mend on Sunday 3rd June at Dorothy Parkes Centre, Smethwick.


But why are opportunities for good quality PLAY important in our community? All children and young people need to play. The impulse to play is innate. Play is a biological, psychological and social necessity, and is fundamental to the healthy development and wellbeing of individuals and communities. Sadly we’re hearing that oppportunities for play are being eroded, 88 percent of people over 65 played out as children, whereas only 21 percent of today’s children claim to do so.

So what happens when children don't get access to good quality play? Playworkers in the UK have coined the phrase ‘Play deprivation’ which details why play is important for a child’s developing brain and what can happen if access to good quality play isn't available, some of these include; depression, anxiety, obesity and poor mental health. But play isn’t just important for a child’s health, physical wellbeing and brain development. Play is important for future proofing our children for a world we can't even imagine.  By 2030 Robots could replace 800 million jobs and there is no way we can teach our kids to compete with machines. We have to teach our children something unique so that machines can never catch up with us, they must learn to think independently, to empathise, to think creatively and all these things are learnt through PLAY.

We’d love to hear your thoughts about Play in Bearwood and to provide some opportunities for children and young people to play and tinker at our Build, Make and Mend event on Sunday 3rd June - here’s what is on offer exploring all things - PLAY.

Playtopia / 11am-4pm / Drop in  Workshop

Throughout the day we’ll be providing inclusive play opportunities, including junk modelling to imagine your Beartopia, den-building and more! This session is for children of all ages.

Toy Swap 'n' Mend / 11.30-1.30pm / Drop in Workshop

Join KIONDO and a group of families as we squeeze some glue, clink our ratchets, twirl our screwdrivers and brace our needles, repairing and exchanging our accumulated kid's Toys & gadgets. Even better, why stick to traditional tools? Let's go digital with Laser-cutters, Mini-CNC's and 3D Printers!

PLAY panel / 12.30-1.30pm

There is a lot of research to support the importance of play in our lives, especially in our formative years. In this session we’ll hear from projects, playworkers and initiatives that enable different types play in community settings and talk about opportunities for play in Bearwood. Our speakers include brilliant playworker and play expert Ali Wood from Meriden Adventure Playground in Chelmsley Wood. Lisa Walke and the awesome play project ROAM that champions children’s free play in the natural environment in Cotteridge. Members of the Cooperative Alliance - Children’s Quarter who serve children and young people at risk of social isolation, & who believe children and young people who are disabled or have mental health or other additional needs, and their families, should be fully included in society and properly served by public services. We will also hear from our Sally Taylor, who will be fresh from running a safe street play session on Milcote Rd in Bearwood the day before (2nd June, 10am-1pm), we’ll hear how it went and explore whether safe street play sessions can happen in more streets in the area.

Child-Led Arts Workshop / 2.30pm-4pm / Drop in  Workshop

Join MotherShip, a community arts company that seeks to connect communities through culture and creativity, for this child-led creative session for children of all ages and their adults.

Amy MartinComment