New Playgrounds for Evelyn
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A Once in a Childhood Chance for Amazing Playgrounds

Click here to Support our NCIL bid
Great News!

DeptfordFolk and other local organisations have campigned for many years to improve playgrounds in Evelyn. Lewisham Council have now committed £700k to some of Evelyn's most dilapidated playgrounds.

This is a once in a childhood opportunity to invest in amazing play spaces for children in Lewisham’s most deprived ward.

A £700k funding commitment from the council means match funding can be sought from a range of funders to ensure children in Evelyn have the same high quality playgrounds as children in other areas of Lewisham and London.

Too many children have grown up in Evelyn watching developments rise around them and very little investment in play or facilities.

It's time to put that right and do it right.
DeptfordFolk have applied to the Lewisham Council Borough Wide NCIL programme for additional funding to ensure the most deprived communities in Lewisham have access to the highest quality play opportunities.

Please read the bid application HERE. We hope you support this bid too. You can show Lewisham Council your support for our bid by clicking the links below.

Let's set the bar high. All children in Lewisham deserve the best places to play possible.

Click HERE to give your support to the DeptfordFolk bid for NCIL funding. You can add more information and your name.

We really appreciate your support.
Click here to Support our NCIL bid
Sayes Court Park | Folkestone Gardens | Evelyn Green
Playgrounds were the number one improvement park users requested in the DeptfordFolk 2016 park user group survey.

For the last decade in every Evelyn Assembly, Commonplace survey, and other consultation exercises with Evelyn ward, residents have put playgrounds at the top of the priority list.

The first three playgrounds to benefit from this £700k initiative are: Evelyn Green, Folkestone Gardens and Sayes Court Park. 
Click here to Support our NCIL bid
Since 2015 DeptfordFolk have been campaigning for a high-quality inclusive playground in Folkestone Gardens and upgrades to Deptford Park playground.

Since 2017 we have also campaigned for play provision in Sayes Court Park. We have always been told there was not enough S106 funding for playgrounds.

We found out that, in order to access S106 funds, we would need to complete a ‘Project Initiation Document’ (PID). DeptfordFolk Chair and other local organisations formed a group called ‘Play Evelyn’. We wrote a PID and provided evidence to support an ambitious bid for high quality playgrounds in Evelyn.

You can read the Play Evelyn PID HERE. It's comprehensive.

The PID requested ambitious investment in the following playgrounds:

Folkestone Gardens £600k - £700k
Sayes Court Park £300k - £400k
Deptford Park £150k - £250k
Pepys Park Upper £80k - £180k
Pepys Park Lower £50k - £150k
Surrey Canal Linear Park/Pepys Central Area £50k - £150k
Incidental Play £100k - £200k
Total: £1,330,000 - £2,030,000

The £700k committed from Lewisham Council will go some way to realising this goal. There is also and opportunity to apply for NCIL funding via the council's program for community led bidding.
Click for Play Evelyn PID
We want to realise as much investment as possible for playgrounds in Evelyn to match the ambition of other publicly funded leisure projects in Lewisham including Catford Constitutional Pub (£3m+), Catford Broadway theatre (£7m) and Beckenham Place Park East (£1.9m).
£1.3m-£2m might seem like a LOT of money - and it is - but it pales in comparison to the £7m investment in Catford Broadway’s theatre or £3m+ to renovate the Catford Constitutional pub. There is £1.9m available for the east side of Beckenham Place Park including natural wooden playgrounds.

These projects use ‘Capital Grant’ funding.This is the funding that comes from central government intended to benefit everyone in Lewisham. 

Capital grants have been subject to severe cuts over the last decade resulting in swingeing cuts to local services.These cuts have a disproportionate impact on the most deprived communities like Evelyn where the child poverty rate is 49%. Lewisham Council is also a public health authority. This includes the health & wellbeing of all children in the borough. 

In Evelyn there is a lot of S106 and CIL funding form the huge developments here. Improving facilities here has little impact on the capital grant. 
Let's get some water play! Water provides inclusive play for all children regardless of physical condition, age, language, ability or gender. It’s a basic raw material for curiosity, imagination & experimentation. Check out Elephant Springs, Tumbling Bay & Peckham Rye (all pictured above) and Greenwich Park this summer.
Ambitious investment in playgrounds will benefit thousands of children. The public health benefits of play, learning and socialisation for children, is worth the investment as it reaches far beyond childhood.

Local press reported recently that Lewisham’s balance of S106 funds is £43.6m.

With S106, Capital Grant Funding, NCIL and external match funding/grants we can have amazing places to play. If £3m+ can be found to invest in a single pub surely £2m to provide access to play for thousands of children is not too much to ask. 
DeptfordFolk & Dream Networks did a workshop with Sir Francis Drake Year 3 in 2017. These children have grown up without a decent playground in Folkestone Gardens. They are now in secondary and still nothing has changed. Read the report HERE.
All the evidence to support largescale investment in high quality playgrounds and landscaping can be found in the Play Evelyn PID including data, feedback from consultations, research, and costings. Children deserve this once in a childhood investment in their social, emotional, and physical health and wellbeing. Children’s early years experiences have a profound impact on their futures especially for those living in the most disadvantaged households.
Investment in the Early Years was a key recommendation in the Youth Violence commission chaired by our MP Vicky Foxcroft. Vicky Foxcroft met with Play Evelyn and wrote a letter to Lewisham Council in support of high quality, inclusive play for Evelyn for which we offer our thanks. It has been great having such support.
Click here to Support our NCIL bid

Folkestone Gardens

Image: Lewisham Council never built the playground as promised in 2014 when the skatepark was installed. SEND equipment and the children's cycle track was removed to make way for the skatepark.
Folkestone Gardens (£600-700k)
When Lewisham Council decided to install the £250k+ Skatepark in Folkestone Gardens in 2014 a new playground was promised. It never materialised to the disappointment of many. Those who needed SEND equipment found it was removed to make way for the skatepark.
DeptfordFolk undertook a design workshop with local children desperate for an inclusive place to play. DeptfordFolk were in the second phase to secure £150k from the London Marathon trust, a sum we should have realised with match funding from Lewisham council prior to 2020.
Folkestone Gardens should have benefitted from the inclusion of the redundant road space had Lewisham Council completed the Deptford Parks Liveable Neighbourhood (DPLN) project in 2019 as planned. £2.9m was secured from TfL in 2017 for this work. Unfortunatley the project was not completed before the Covid-19 pandemic. DPLN expenditure was paused in March 2020.
Folkestone Gardens is huge and needs a new, inclusive, playground and extensive landscaping. You can see a rough estimate of costs from our work with Erect Architecture HERE. This playground has not seen investment in a generation (or more!). It needs a full playground installation and relandscaping.
Folkestone Gardens is a huge space waiting to be an incredible natural playground
Click here to Support our NCIL bid

Sayes Court Park

Lewisham's initial plans involve basic equipment installation and thermoplastic pour.
Sayes Court Park £300k-£400k
There is about £560k in S106 funding allocated for Sayes Court Park from the Convoys Wharf Developer. Unfortunately, it is not scheduled until phase 3 of the development which could be a decade away.

DeptfordFolk chair successfully lobbied Lewisham Council to work with Hutchinson Whampoa to use a ‘Deed of Variation’ to bring some of this funding forward so the playground can be improved now. Big thanks to Cllr Sophie McGeevor who pushed this idea forward to secure approximately £150k for Sayes Court Park Playground.

Lewisham Council’s initial ideas for Sayes Court Park involved a lot of thermoplastics and a “Kit-Fence-Carpet” (KFC) design. The Friends of Sayes Court Park with support from the friends of Hilly Fields developed an alternative vision for a more natural space HERE.

We've asked Lewisham Council to use natural materials and landscaping. Recent research indicates that toxic microplastics damage children's health. This playground has not seen investment in a generation. It needs a full playground installation and relandscaping.
The Friends of Sayes Court Park have developed plans for a natural playground which acknowledges the legacy of John Evelyn FRS and the Deptford Dockyard.

Evelyn Green

The ballcourt on Edward Street had remained accessible to the local community since 2012. Therefore local re-provision of the facility was required, to allow redevelopment of the Edward Street site.
Evelyn Green (no estimate available)
There is already an ambitious plan for Evelyn Green developed over many years by Evelyn Tenants & Residents Association (ETRA). DeptfordFolk fully support the ETRA project. In 2018 Lewisham Council approved building new homes on the ball court on Edward Street/Arklow Road, removing play space from children (REF: DC/19/111176).  As the ballcourt has remained accessible to the local community since 2012, local re-provision of the facility was required, to allow the Edward Street site be re-developed. The ETRA Evelyn Green project was consulted in 2017. Construction of the development is now underway, but the ETRA project has yet to be delivered.

You can see ETRA’s plans on the council portal (DC/18/106453) or Here.
The following Parks alao featured in the Play Evelyn PID application to Lewisham Council. We lookforward to hearing from the council about future phases of the Deptford Play Project

Deptford Park

Deptford Park (£150k-£250k)
Deptford Park Playground was built and landscaped in 2008. It is the most popular playground in the Evelyn Ward. It was showing signs of dilapidation prior to covid 19. Successive lockdowns in an area where most people have no access to private outdoor space has meant that Deptford Park Playground has deteriorated rapidly over the last 18 months. It needs new equipment and landscaping to maintain it as a safe and high-quality learning environment.

Pepys Park

Pepys Park Upper £80k - £180k
Pepys Park Lower £50k - £150k
It has been a decade since there was any investment in Pepys Park. Recently a child age 15 was raped at around 4pm in the park. Some women and girls do not feel safe using the park. It is critical that Lewisham Council listen to the concerns residents have about this park.It must become a safer place for everyone especially women and girls.

Surrey Canal Linear Park

Surrey Canal Linear Park/Pepys Central Area £50k - £150k
£40k has been secured for Surrey Canal linear park by EVEREST TRA group. This is fantastic news and will mean more play equipment for the part of the park closest to the Pepys Estate. There is still work to be done on the central area near Eddystone Tower and the Community Centre. At present Lewisham Homes have situated construction work containers on the greenspace. This is a good opportunity to think about the space and how it could be improved. Eddystone Tower residents are doing a fantastic job improving the area with planting. Check it out next time you pass this way.

Incidental Play

Incidental Play £100k - £200k
Creating interesting playable features connecting parks and playgrounds in Evelyn would create a child friendly environnment. These can be simple and cost effective like logs or "trim trail" elements. This makes active travel interesting especially when young children need places to stop, rest and play.

Save Wavelengths

Alice Dearing (centre) supported the successful Save Wavelengths campaign to reopen Wavelengths Leisure pool.
Big shout out to local campaign group Save Wavelengths who made a splash and successfully fought against the closure of Wavelengths Leisure pool. Lewisham Council claimed that there was not enough money to fund this amazing local asset. Local children played a leading role in the campaign. Watch their video HERE. The sheer scale of the support for the campaign was incredible. The campaign has a petition with around 5000 signatures and support from Alice Dearing, a Team GB Olympic Athlete and co-founder of the Black Swimming Association.

Eventually Lewisham Council made the money available to invest in one of Deptford's best loved facilities for children & young people. The pool will reopen although the flumes will not.

We hope Lewisham Council will have a change of heart and retain the beloved Deptford Dodger and Deptford Dipper.
Phew! If you got this far, thank you.

A great deal of work over many years by a huge range of people, has got us to this point. Now we are in the process of identifying and applying for further funding from other organisations to match this great commitment to bring about the best provision for the next generation and dramatically improve access to high quality play for children in Deptford.
Childhood lasts a lifetime
Watch this play space.
Click here to Support our NCIL bid
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DeptfordFolk is the constituted user group representing Folkestone Gardens & Deptford Park SE8. More information can be found on the website Email to be added to the mailing list. You can follow DeptfordFolk on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. #deptfordfolk