One of the oldest, and most important Play Association projects is the Antony Lillis project, which provides safe and stimulating play opportunities for children with complex needs. Our Operations Manager, Melanie (who formerly worked as a play-worker on the project) has kindly offered to talk about the importance of the project for West London and its surrounding areas.
The Lillis Project (previously known as Palace Playground – the provision was based at Fulham Palace) has been in operation since 2006. The project started as a provision for young people with learning difficulties and behavioural problems, and for the siblings of these young people. In December of 2007 the funding was cut, and the project ended.
However, in February of 2008 we were approached by the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea Council who needed a playground for their disabled children, as one of theirs was closing. Following this, we had a visit from the group and they came with 15+ young people and their staff. The management of the setting and provision was transferred to us – most of the young people stayed, as did some of their staff team.
Shortly after, we had to move out of the Palace Playground, and were put up by RBKC in play venues across their borough for one year. In 2010 we approached Queensmill School as a potential site for the project, and the head-teacher was ecstatic to hear of our interest! Shortly after moving into Queensmill we approached the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham Council about a provision for their disabled children and we allocated a small group of 12 young people. This group from LBHF has now grown to 40, and Hammersmith and Fulham is the borough our provision offers the most support to.
Since this point we have been approached by, and provided work for Wandsworth, Merton, Ealing, Brent and Westminster Councils. We have also been approached by parents of students at Queensmill and Jack Tizard Schools, looking for support for their children, as the feedback from parent’s children who already attend the project has been so positive. We have recently moved out of Queensmill School, and are now in our own building; the Bradmore Centre, on Bradmore Park Road in Hammersmith.
Look out for part two of this blog post, scheduled for later this week!
Thank-you, Melanie for the first of the two posts about this wonderful project! If you would like to learn more about our organisation be sure to check out the ‘About Us‘ page, our latest news, and head over to our website.
For more information about the Lillis page, take a look at the ‘Projects‘ page!