Fears over adventure playground in shake up

An adventure playground which provides fun and challenging activities for young people could be hit by Kirklees Council's budget cuts.

Thursday, 5th January 2017, 11:03 am
Updated Monday, 9th January 2017, 12:44 pm
Crow Nest Park, Dewsbury

The future of the Crow Nest Park Adventure Playground in Dewsbury, operated by the council’s youth service, is being considered as part of a shake-up of services for children and families, designed to make savings.

Under the proposals, the council and its youth workers would no longer be able to deliver activities to all youngsters.

Instead community groups and partner agencies would have to run the activity sessions.

The council said its resources would instead be focused on young people and families experiencing issues and problems and most in need of help.

But staff at the adventure playground, which provides a place to play as well as activity sessions for youngsters aged eight to 12, fear the move could result in at risk children slipping under the radar.

Youth worker Rebecca Milner, 38, said: “This is about protecting a community of children who need our help and support.

“Volunteers aren’t going to notice that there’s a little boy who’s been wearing the same jumper for three days with his holes in his shoes. That’s what we’re trained to do and if there is a problem we know where to signpost them to.”

Miss Milner said the centre attracts hundreds of youngsters each week, many with complex support needs.

She said: “Children who already attend are often young people with complex home lives but have built solid relationships with staff that work there and would struggle to build another one with new people.”

A final decision on the proposals is expected to be made at a cabinet meeting later this month.