Health scheme for children kickstarted

A lottery grant presented to a popular Westminster playground is set to kick-start a year-long children s health scheme. St John s Wood Terrace adventure playground has received a £8,330 cash boost from Awards for All, it was announced on Monday. Steve De

A lottery grant presented to a popular Westminster playground is set to kick-start a year-long children's health scheme.

St John's Wood Terrace adventure playground has received a £8,330 cash boost from Awards for All, it was announced on Monday.

Steve Derby, senior co-ordinator at the play project, said that the money will pay for a programme entitled "Action Play", aimed at promoting healthy lifestyles for young people.

He said: "This presents a great opportunity to the playground. We want to improve children's health and this helps with long-term development."


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The association which runs the playground now plans to spend the money on an extensive sports programme that will include basketball, rounders and more traditional games such as skipping.

Aside from these activities, children in the area will be given the chance to try other pursuits like dancercise, kite-flying and cooking classes.

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Mr Derby said that he had taken his cue from the youngsters when he drew up the plans for Action Play.

"It was designed on the basis of the games that the children already wanted to play," he said.

Della Dwyer has two sons - Sam, eight, and Joe, two - who regularly use the play facilities.

She said: "It's a wonderful place to come to and it's great that they got this grant. Children's health is so important and my kids love all the sports and games.

"They like the idea of kite flying and the skipping will make them really fit."

The healthy living programme of one a week sessions is due to start in September.

They will be held after school at the playground, from 3.15pm to 6pm.

The grant given to the St John's Wood project was part of a larger pot of £664,977 that was distributed to 88 groups across London.

These included a facelift for a rundown railway in Hackney and a go-karting scheme for youths in Newham.

Awards for All is run by the Big Lottery Fund. Debbie Pippard, head of the fund's London region, said: "A vast array of projects focused on heritage, sport, community groups, charities and education have really benefited from this month's £664,977 of Lottery funding.

"I am delighted that 88 groups will receive the funds they need and it's always good to see the wealth of ideas local people have for improving the quality of life in London through Lottery funding.

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