The staff and volunteers at The Old Quarry Adventure Playground (The Addy) in Knottingley have continued to support the local community throughout all of the lockdowns. Their efforts have been recognised by the Mayor of Wakefield, Charlie Keith for continuing to support their community during the COVID-19 pandemic and a certificate of appreciation through the 'COVID-19 Community Champions Scheme', a partnership with the NHS and Wakefield Council.
The playground's staff team have worked tirelessly distributing play and activity packs, homemade doorstep meals, old school 'Addy bakes', Easter eggs, food parcels and much more to the children and elderly on the Warwick estate, an area ranked within the top 10% of deprivation in England - to date they have distributed 1498 play and activity packs and secured more funding to enable this to continue until the summer holidays.
They also carried out valuable outreach work with young people in line with the NYA guidance, after witnessing small groups congregating together on the estate, staff felt that they needed to be working with these young people.
Deputy manager Tara Watson-Morgan said: “A large proportion of our work has always been adapting to suit the needs of the community, COVID was never going to stop the Addy team from reaching out to those who needed our support.
"In February we were allowed to reopen our gates granted by Public Health and Environmental Health Wakefield - one of the first services for children and young people in the district and even the UK to be allowed to do so."
A fundraising campaign #SAVEOURADDY has so far raised nearly £30,000, through donations from local businesses, small grant funding and their go fund me page, there is still a long way to go from the target of £60,000 needed to keep the services going until they secure larger sources of grant funding.
Ms Watson-Morgan said: “We have managed to cover the costs of all our work for the past nine years through a combination of lottery and other grants, trading income/contracts and fundraising efforts. However, our sources of grant funding have now been delayed by the COVID 19 pandemic; this, together with the loss of trading income from our café and room hire revenue has left us in a very vulnerable financial position.”
The heart of the community
The Addy is a community-owned organisation located, since 1972, on the Warwick Estate. It was originally set up by local volunteers to provide a safe place for children to play. There is a building for indoor activities and a large outdoor adventure play area. Its main project has always been free, open-access adventure play for children and young people but in the last 10 years it has expanded provision to help compensate for the closure of other local community venues. It now runs activities for everyone - toddlers, children and their families, those with additional needs, young people, unemployed people and pensioners.
To donate go to https://gofund.me/48aee04d