The Triangle Adventure Playground was established in 1957 by Marjorie Porter MBE in collaboration with Lady Allen of Hurtwood and the London Council. Of the first four APGs to be established in England, only two now exist in name and the Triangle is the only one still operating on its original site. It is thus the oldest Adventure Playground in the country. As was typical of the early APGs, the Triangle has never been operated by its borough council but is managed and funded by a fiercely independent committee drawn from its local community. Its longevity and success is the result of its continuing adherence to the ethos and values of its founders.
The foundations of Triangle as we now know it were set during 2007 - 2009 as we installed our giant play structures and welcomed our senior play worker Jon. In the decade that’s followed Triangle has overcome challenges and flourished to be recognised as a multiple award winning adventure playground. We continue to serve the local community and still to this day receive older visitors, keen to share their memories of play during the 70s, 80s and 90s.
Triangle Adventure Playground is based in Lambeth, an inner city London borough which is not only one of the most densely-populated but also suffers social deprivation - it is in the 20% most deprived districts in England, and about 27% (14,700) of children live in low income families. These factors exacerbate both poor health and gang violence: in Lambeth 23.2% of children in Year 6 are classified as obese, worse than the average for England, and there are higher rates of serious youth violence and gang violence compared to other similar London boroughs.
The essence of the adventure playground is ‘free play’ whereby young people choose what they wish to do. Every day Triangle encourages young people to make choices, understand how to take risks and stay safe. During play sessions they learn to win and lose gracefully and to strive to improve which encourages resilience. Outdoor play helps them stay healthy and strong. Our artistic and creative play releases stress as well as developing minds and skills.
We aim to build long term relationships with not only the young people but their families too. In some cases multiple generations of the same family have played at Triangle, a fine example of our long term success.
We have partnered with our friends Oasis for Active Together, to broaden our activities to include all ages of the family.
Inner city life limits access and understanding of nature. The vital and glorious green space of Triangle is wedged into Oval, amongst council blocks, gasworks and high rise towers. Our thriving Nature Club allows young people to connect with natural surroundings in contrast to the streets they walk through.
Broadening horizons is key to our work, hence regular free cultural and activity trips including our annual trip to the seaside. Many children spend their whole 6 week summer holidays with us. For our older users we offer work placement and employment opportunities. Embedded within our community, the Triangle plays a distinguished part. Oval would be impoverished without our painted poles, ragged trees and much explored unkempt brambly corners, as would the lives of the children who rely on us on a daily basis.
We are looking for people from a wide variety of backgrounds who are willing to offer their time and skills in order to help us manage and maintain Triangle Adventure Playground so that it can continue serving children within our community for many years to come.
We are looking for a new member for our Management Committee. We meet one evening every two months at the playground, and hold our AGM in September. We are interested in people of all ages and backgrounds.