The Triangle is London’s oldest on site adventure playground, open since 1957. We provide free and exciting adventure play to young people aged 6 - 17 years old. Our aims are to improve young people's mental and physical health; build self confidence, resilience and resourcefulness; support emotional well being; develop life skills and social skills and partake positively within their community.
The Triangle provides a safe and supportive space that can address the challenges young people face growing up in London, whether food insecurity; mental health; physical health; lack of opportunity and play space due to low income background. We follow a child led ethos which means young people are enabled to partake in any activity they wish. Our range includes sport, arts & crafts, imagination role play, climbing trees, nature play, play structures, construction and more. We also offer special trips and employment opportunities.
The Triangle is based in Oval, Lambeth. Last year, despite social bubbles, we welcomed 376 young people who made a total of 8603 visits, we are currently averaging 50 - 60 young people each session and are on course to welcome more than 400 young people this year. 15% of the young people who attend Triangle have Special Educational needs, 60% of families declare Free School Meals and/or Universal Income, 81% are BAME, reflecting the diverse and inclusive nature of our playground
The Triangle provides around 245 days of play a year, after school and during the holidays, to young people aged 6 - 17 years old.
The essence of Triangle is ‘free play’ where young people choose what they wish to do. The key therefore is the provision of an extensive range of activities to provide choice and cover both the 16 established play types and more. At the Triangle we create a playful and positive environment through our large play structures, many sports, traditional and homemade board games, construction and building projects, cycling skills and bike maintenance, skateboarding, fantasy play, a multitude of 'junk' loose parts/objects for den building and sculptural play, group games, arts & crafts, video games, gardening & nature club, cookery, DJ & MC workshops, photographic & video workshops and, during the holidays, themes that are chosen by the young people. For example one week of Summer is dedicated to water play, in which Triangle creates it's own water theme park, other popular themes include camping, sports and challenge week. We also offer regular free cultural and activity trips as well as providing work experience opportunities, employment and advice for our older users. Individual needs vary greatly; some require space to expend energy, others access to creative activities not available elsewhere and many utilise us to socialise. Providing free snacks and lunches during sessions fulfils their nutritional needs and offers culinary education, an important life skill. After 65 years of play our track record is strong. We are trusted by our young people and their parents, and continue to be an integral part of the local community.
We offer a range of play experiences that are designed to contribute to the health, wellbeing and happiness of children generally and to promote their educational, physical and emotional development. The sessions usually take place on the playground in Oval, Lambeth. But we also provide as many trips off site as we can as not only do the young people love them but also we know that it broadens their horizons. This year our Nature Club, despite pandemic restrictions, has encouraged young people to engage with gardening, biodiversity, recycling and sustainability as well as our Triangle and Lambeth wildlife, and was even featured on BBC Radio. Our eleven plus club has built a half pipe skate ramp on site and we plan to welcome skate instructors this month; and our Active Together project, which we run in partnership with Oasis Playground in Stockwell, has successfully engaged with 125 families for active fun family fitness sessions, including boxing, karate, treasure hunts, go karting, capoeira and more.
The pandemic has seen our activities go online for the first time as we created a digital play service for the periods we had to shut the playground due to lockdown. Our service has proved immensely popular and was very welcomed by young people, parents and carers. A daily timetable of a wide range of play activities conducted via zoom by our excellent team of playworkers during lockdowns engaged over 100 children online for over 450 hours. Besides the zoom sessions we delivered 200 play packs and 23 digital access packs (Samsung Tablet and 20gb wifi box).
We provide work experience for pupils from local schools and volunteering opportunities for those aged 16 plus. Those that successfully complete 100 hours of volunteering are considered for permanent positions on the sessional play staff register. We also welcome parents and carers onto our trainee scheme as they find it helps them re-enter the workplace. Two of our 4 sessional staff came through this scheme having played on the playground when they were young and the other sessional staff member is a parent.