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Campaign: Support Spaces for Childhood

10 July 2017

If you regularly use Hoop to find what’s on for your kids, there’s a good chance you’ll find yourself at a local public or community space hosting an activity your children will love.

Indeed, looking at 342,033 familiy activities listed on Hoop, over two-thirds (69%) of all family activities take place in a local publicly run space such as a library, community or children’s centre, sports ground or swimming pool.[1]

Sadly, we’re increasingly aware that more and more local public spaces that support familiy activities are under threat.

Some Scary Numbers

214 Playgrounds have closed in the last two years.

More often than not, the activities at these places offer free or affordable activities, offering accessible and friendly places for families to have fun, socialise and inspire their kids. These activities are ran by amazing people that go above and beyond to brighten our children’s day.

To better understand the scale of the problem further we’ve started speaking to hundreds more parents to understand how much they value these spaces, and to family organisers to learn about the struggles they are increasingly facing to find suitable spaces to run their activities from.

  • A whopping 98.6% of parents we polled said they’d feel angry or disappointed if these spaces were to close down.
  • Three quarters (74%) of family organisers struggle to find a space or venue to run their activities from.
  • 45% of family organisers are concerned that they may not be able to remain in their current venue long-term.

The impact and loss of these child-friendly spaces is not just on the physical places, but also on the mix of activities that they host, bringing families together for children to play, learn new skills and have fun at playgroups, sports classes and more.

Support Local Spaces For Families

From today we’re starting a campaign to support, celebrate and shine a spotlight on the amazing places in our communities that help us enjoy special time with our little ones.

Millions of families rely on public and community spaces

As part of our campaign, Space for Childhood, we’re asking families across Britain to shout about how much they value these places, and raise awareness of how important these spaces are for children. We can’t take these places for granted anymore!

The decline of these spaces is worrying, and it’s easy for each closure or reduction in access to feel inconsequential as the impact is usually very localised. It’s only when you connect the dots, that you start to get a clearer picture of the scale and impact it’s having on children.

Simple ways parents can support the campaign

Share your stories about local libraries, children’s centres, playgrounds, swimming pools, sports centres and community halls that matter to your children with us.

Use the hashtag #spaceforchildhood when sharing your stories

Over the coming weeks and months, we’ll be highlighting the role these places play in family life across Britain, and raising awareness of the closures and statistics that demonstrate the extent of the problem. Join us:

  • Post your stories about why these spaces mean something to your family on your own social media using the hashtag #spaceforchildhood
  • Repost our #spaceforchildhood posts highlighting the facts and figures you’ll find us sharing on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

Together, let’s celebrate and support spaces for children in our community! #spaceforchildhood


[1] Totals based upon activities suitable for children aged 0–11yrs old listed on Hoop running between April and June 2017

Find fun, healthy activities for kids on the Hoop app