Lottery bid success injects free fun into Merton this summer

There will be even more playing around this summer following Merton Council’s successful bid for £401,834 from the Big Lottery Fund.

The money has been invested in a brand new initiative called Extending Free Play, which starts this month, providing youngsters in Merton aged 3-16 with activities over the summer.

The scheme includes the Croydon Community Bus Mobile Holiday Play Service, a double-decker play bus that will be visiting various locations around the borough. There will also be the Groundwork London Play Ranger service that will be available from 12 August for children aged 8-14 years.

The projects have been set up to encourage children and young people to get out and enjoy Merton’s parks and open spaces.

Merton Council will also open three improved play areas at Lavender Park, Ravensbury Park and Long Bolstead Recreation Ground later this summer. The official launch of the improved play areas will be at Lavender Pavilion on Wednesday 20 August from 1-3pm. Towards the end of the year a BMX skateboard ramp will also open at Pollards Hill Recreation Ground.

Merton Council’s Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, Cllr Debbie Shears said, “This is wonderful opportunity for the children and young people of Merton to get out and meet other children during the summer holidays. Merton is proud of its greenspaces and to be able to extend the opportunities for children to play in a safe environment.’

For further information please call Family Information Service on 020 8545 3800 or

Notes to editor

The Mobile Holiday Play Service (a double-decker playbus) will offer free mini-play days during the summer holiday for families, children and young people aged 3-16 year. The project will be delivered by Croydon Community Bus.
The Play Ranger service, a team of three play workers, will provide new supervised play opportunities and encourage the positive use of parks and open spaces for children and young people aged 8-14 years. This is a Groundwork London project.