West London Zone and children and families of Old Oak primary school win campaign for better facilities at Wormwood scrubs park

  • Having supported the campaign for renovated facilities at a local Hammersmith and Fulham park, West London Zone was delighted for the grand opening of the Wormwood Scrubs playpark with a new zipline and trampette
  • West London Zone (WLZ) partnered with Citizens UK to support and train young people on community organising and how to be effective young leaders
  • After discussions with local Councillors Sanderson and Harcourt in 2022, their demands for renovated facilities were met – awarding them the funding for the new park

We strive to be embedded in our local communities so we can connect everyone together and deliver what each child needs in the Zone we work in. As a result of this, we focus particularly on listening and developing a deep understanding of individual and collective community experiences, so that we can contribute to creating opportunities for active community participation, organising and engagement. Our partnership with Citizens UK, an organisation that empowers local people and leaders to come together to drive change, has served as a way to develop our team so that we can support children and families to build communities that best serve them.

The road to change

This was particularly the case in the community around Old Oak primary school. The children and families were keen to have a seat at the table in decision-making. With this in mind, in 2021, a team of 8-10-year-olds – coined Positive Change identified that their local park, Wormwood Scrubs was not as modern as some of the other parks in the area and would benefit from a renovation. From exploring other parks in the wider community, they found that there was a need for an up to date park, closer to school that would encourage young people to visit, particularly during the summer. Equipped with the training in community organising from Citizens UK and eager to get the wheels for change in motion, Positive Change sought the views of their peers. Gathering feedback on potential improvements from over 100 staff and young people across the school community.

July 2021: Children at Old Oak primary school met with Tom Cardis, Director of Planning for the Old Oak & Park Royal Development Corporation

Using this feedback, they constructed their demands in a letter to their local councillors, Alexandra Sanderson and Wesley Harcourt, making the case for a new zipline, trampette and water fountain as well as inviting them to a meeting to discuss further. The meeting was attended by 20 young people from Old Oak and 20 parents and allies to discuss their plans and ideas. After an impactful presentation, the councillors were in agreeance and funding for a new zipline and trampette was awarded, gaining funding from HS2 and Wormwood Scrubs Charitable Trust – a fantastic achievement! We were thrilled to learn of the new developments of the project and so when the grand opening date was announced, we were excited to celebrate the hard work of the children and families.


Autumn 2021: Young people gathered feedback from peers and teachers and had their first campaign day for action

The grand opening

On the wet afternoon of the grand opening, parents, pupils and community members alike gathered in Wormwood Scrubs park, excited to see the newly added equipment. The grand opening commenced with young people giving speeches about the process; conducting field research, gathering insights from peers and crafting letters to councillors. They also spoke about the listening and leadership skills they learnt along the way and being effective leaders. Despite the less than ideal weather conditions, this didn’t stop the young people from having a go on the newly installed zipline and trampette.


Spring 2023: The official grand opening of Wormwood Scrubs playpark, fit with a new zipline and trampette

“We have learnt about democracy, we have learnt how to do research, we have learnt how to listen to people, we have learnt how to write to representatives and work to make a positive change. We hope this park is here for children to enjoy for many years to come.” - The young people of Positive Change

Young trailblazers

This is a fantastic achievement for the Old Oak community and West London Zone is incredibly proud of the young people involved, their contributions have created a lasting impact in their area. Their campaign not only encouraged growth in leadership and confidence but also exemplified how these bright and determined young people are future community leaders in the making.

together, every child and young person can flourish.