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finished chill out structure

The finished chill-out space is within the Community Growing Space in Broomfield Park

A new "chill-out" space in Broomfield Park which was formally opened last Wednesday has been designed and built by pupils from Broomfield School to provide somewhere for people of different generations to spend time together in the park.

The project to provide somewhere for visitors to the park to meet, relax, play and enjoy nature is a collaboration between the school, the Palmers Greenery community cafe, the Friends of Broomfield Park and the charity Build Up.

The new addition to the park's attractions is a wooden pergola with reclining loungers, seating and a small table area and is located in the park's Community Growing Space.

The Palmers Greenery - by the community for the community

photo of palmers greenery cafeSince the Palmers Greenery opened seven years ago this community cafe, entirely run by volunteers, has been investing its surplus takings into the community orchard, Broomfield Conservatory and other projects for improving the park.

This latest investment, in the chill-out space, brings the total amount that the Greenery has provided up to £25,000.

The concept and design for the chill-out space were developed after 120 Broomfield School pupils (in Covid-secure class bubbles) took part in half-day workshops with Build Up’s architects, youth workers and volunteers from Friends of Broomfield Park to explore pupils' perceptions of the park and how it could be enhanced. Influenced by experiences of often being ignored and stereotyped by adults in public spaces, young people wanted to create a space where different generations in the park could spend time together.

building the chill out structure

Year 7 pupils spent five days building the structure during the May half term

Seventeen Year 7 pupils spent five days over May half term building the structure, among them Edlira and Helios. For them the project was important because "it gave young people the chance to make important decisions, their work provided a nice space for the community to enjoy and promoted the use of natural, sustainable materials".

Cate Seymour, interim head of Broomfield School, welcomed the opportunity for pupils to develop teamworking skills and put into practice what they've been learning in design and technology lessons:

"Like many schools we have had to cancel lots of our usual school visits due to lockdown, so it was lovely for our pupils to be able to experience some learning outside the classroom this year. I am delighted that Broomfield school pupils have been able to make a positive difference to their community and hope that this is only the beginning of ongoing collaboration with the Palmers Greenery."

Sarah Cotton from the Palmers Greenery community cafe said: "This project celebrates youth and perfectly showcases the value of volunteers, the benefit of social enterprise and the power of local partnership. We were determined that the investment of our profit benefits both the park and young people."

Build Up - building the next generation

"Confident, skilled and proud young people leading construction projects in their local community!"

"Build Up puts young people in control of construction projects that make a lasting contribution to their local community. We give young people the opportunity to make decisions, influence their local area and see the real-life impact they can have"

Mission statement on Build Up website

Since it started out in 2014, originally under the name Risk Agency, structures created under the charity's guidance have benefited more than 5000 young people, many of them living in some of London's most deprived areas.

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