Inner city families create urban jungle for kids lacking green space

Inner city families create urban jungle for kids lacking green space
A charity has launched a campaign to finance an urban jungle play area for south London youngsters by sharing the cost online using a new crowdfunding portal.

Oasis, a Stockwell-based kids charity, is planning to build a forest-garden - an urban jungle where kids can learn about plants, wildlife and biodiversity. The charity wants youngsters in this deprived part of south London to gain first-hand experience of nature.

With public funding for these projects now non-existent in many areas, the concept of crowdfunding – where local people and firms pledge small amounts towards a single idea – is growing in popularity.

The "˜learn as you play' adventure garden - known as Stockwell Urban Oasis - will feature a quirky tree house designed by a local artist, as well as useful and edible plants for children to experience.

Oasis also encourage local adults to become involved with the space - be it through gardening or getting involved in projects with the children - helping the playground to become a more multi-generational space, and to generate more volunteers for the charity.

The project has been supported by Spacehive, an online platform that helps anyone design and fund neighbourhood improvement projects. Spacehive's open financing platform allows any local person to contribute towards the costs of making community projects happen and improve their local area. Spacehive is looking to help in the creation of something that will make use of dead and declining inner city sites.

Kam-Lyn Chak, a Project Promoter and volunteer at the Oasis adventure playground said of the project: "Planting this exciting new garden in a space that's already proven popular with local kids will create an array of opportunities for different play and learning activities. This project also benefits the local wildlife and will enhance the the natural beauty of an area that deserves a bit more love."

Chris Gourlay, founder of Spacehive.com, the crowd-funding website, said: "Taking grass-roots campaign literally, this is precisely the kind of project that we wanted to see flourish. By using the web to bring people together and find funding for projects that would otherwise never happen, communities can make a real difference to their areas and this is a shining example of what can be achieved."

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