Nowhere to play


Children’s social skills are suffering because Britain’s community spaces are falling into disrepair and many youngsters are too scared to visit their local park, according to new research.

A third of parents in the research study say that, outside of school, there are no places their children can play. And one in eight report their children’s mental health has suffered.

The research was carried out by home improvement retailer Wickes, which set up its community programme last year, and has supported over 2,000 community projects nationwide. From playgrounds, to allotments and sensory gardens, the demand for outdoor and nature-focussed spaces especially for children is overwhelming. More than half of the organisations that have used the programme have been schools.

Parents in the survey say they are beginning to see the knock-on effects of community spaces being left uncared for – with one in four claiming their children’s social skills have been stunted by the poor state of Britain’s parks. And some admit that their children are too frightened to visit them.

The Wickes Community Programme is open to all local community groups seeking help for improvement projects, and any groups interested in applying for a donation should go online or head into their local store to speak to the manager.