Four generations benefit from endangered Stonebridge Adventure Playground

Shyann (middle) with Jennifer Parris and her grandfather Patrick Coley

Shyann (middle) with Jennifer Parris and her grandfather Patrick Coley - Credit: Archant

A Neasden grandmother has pledged her support for a campaign to save the beloved Stonebridge Adventure Playground (SAP), used by four generations of her family, from demolition.

Jennifer Parris, 52, who lives on the North Circular Road, was taken to the popular centre, in Shakespeare Avenue, as a pre-teenager by her mother, Janet Parris – who volunteered at the centre doing arts and crafts sessions.

Her three children followed in their mother’s footsteps and took advantage of a host of facilities on offer at the playground, which has been at the heart of the community for nearly 40 years.

Now into adulthood, her eldest daughter, Shevone Parris, 35, has carried on the family tradition by sending her 12-year-old child, Shyann Ferdinand-Parris, to the play area.

She said: “It makes me feel proud and affirms that I made the right choice by sending them to the playground.

“I had a great time and so did my children, otherwise they will not send their own younglings there.”

The grandmother-of-three said: “We used to watch movies on one of those huge televisions, which was very impressive back in those days. They would even provide us with warm popcorn. The atmosphere was brilliant.

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“This was great for parents who could not afford to take their children to the cinema and would bring them here instead.”

Ms Parris, a manager at a youth centre, in Chalkhill, Wembley, has heralded Doug and Glynis Lee, who have run SAP the since it opened in 1975, for their positive impact on youths who have gone through the centre.

She said: “I wouldn’t be where I am now, as a youth worker, if it wasn’t for them.

“They gave me the confidence training for my current role. I am extremely grateful to them.”

SAP will be reduced to rubble to accommodate the expansion of neighbouring Stonebridge Primary School, the construction of news homes and a smaller, unsupervised play area under current proposals.

Ms Parris said: “The playground is still relevant today and it is important now more than ever to keep the centre for the younger generation.

“People are beginning to commit crime from a very young age these days. Youngsters need to have a place to go to keep them off the streets.

“There is a wealth of history and memories at the centre for many families, not just mine. It would be devastating for the Stonebridge Community if it is demolished.”

Related link: Brent Council leader “neutral” in row over Stonebridge Adventure Playground