Coin Street family and children’s centre’s outside makeover

With warmer weather finally upon us, we can’t think of a better time to announce that our family and children’s centre will be getting a ‘green makeover’ thanks to an exciting partnership with environmental charity Groundwork London.

Following our successful application for a Tesco ‘Bags of Help’ grant, our family and children’s centre was awarded £10,000 to transform its existing outdoor space into a bio diverse green space for children. As well as ‘greening up’ the area and creating natural shade and protection from the wind, the project will introduce natural play elements including a ‘mud kitchen, a mini-greenhouse as well as a worm farm and habitats for insects.

The nursery at Coin Street formed an outdoor working party to seek views of staff, parents and the children using the outdoor play space. A group of children from the Student Representative Council visited other playgrounds so they could discuss what they want to include in the outdoor garden which was shared with parents at later date.

Groundwork has also sought input towards the garden designs through its ‘Achievement Coaches’ programme – a scheme to encourage young people at risk of dropping out of mainstream education to stay in school, continue their studies and achieve success. The garden design challenge has been accepted by students from the Rivers Academy, Hounslow and The Green School, Isleworth and this element is being supported by volunteers from the Royal Navy.

The students have been coached over three sessions to create their designs. Royal Navy teams have mentored students in skills such as research, planning, communication, decision-making, presentation and public speaking, while Groundwork London have provided guidance in designing gardens for maximum environmental benefit, particularly focusing on improving air quality which will be monitored before and after the makeover.

The designs produced by the students will be voted on by a panel, which will include a representative from our family and children’s centre and the Royal Navy, and the winners will then see their designs ideas influencing the final designs and plans adopted by the family and children’s centre.

Debbie Kukathas, Deputy Head of Early Years, said: “I am excited about the project as it provides many opportunities for different partnerships to bring about change and effectively have an impact on children’s well-being in inner London.”

For more information, please contact Debbie Kukathas on d.kukathas@coinstreet.org