Team RBS, Islington Playground Challenge, with Islington Council

South East Local Impact Award 2013 - Building Stronger Communities, Highly Commended.

The Team RBS Islington Playground Challenge is a partnership between RBS and Islington Council to regenerate the twelve adventure playgrounds giving more than 1,000 children free, safe, open access places to play. With three out of four Islington residents living in flats, including 50% on purpose built estates, it is essential that outdoor spaces are made available for local children. 

 

Business Benefits

  • RBS benefited from increased employee engagement with an improvement in the proportion of employees who gave RBS a favourable rating for being socially responsible.
  • 88 team-building opportunities were provided.
  • The Team RBS Islington Playground Challenge was the largest Markets and International Banking volunteering initiative globally. At the end of 2012, 47% of UK employees had volunteered in the community.

Societal Benefits

  • Regeneration of twelve adventure playgrounds in Islington, which provide a key resource to 1,000 young people and families.
  • Provision of safe playing spaces and in turn improving children’s health and wellbeing leading to increased and wider use of adventure playgrounds.
  • Helped provide children, young people, families and communities with a sense of ownership, while enhancing the local environment.
  • RBS will be exploring how they can further support young people through further partnership working with Islington London Borough Council.

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“Islington’s adventure playgrounds are a fantastic resource for young people giving them a chance to spend time outside being active in a safe environment. We are grateful to RBS for their time and funding so we can make playground like Lumpy Hill even more inviting”

- Cllr Richard Watts,
Islington Councils executive member for children and young people.
Playing outdoors helps children and young people to experiment and explore, develop self confidence and social skills, as well as keep healthy. Play areas and adventure playgrounds are a central feature of a neighbourhood and can bring a whole community together.

Islington has the smallest amount of green space per head of any London borough, and competing demands for space and high land values mean that there is very little capacity to increase playing space. A review of Adventure Play in Islington identified that the quality of the adventure play sites varied greatly impacting play for children. RBS was approached to work in partnership with Islington Council to regenerate all twelve adventure playgrounds in the borough, some of which had fallen into disrepair requiring substantial investment to bring them back to standard.

Employee volunteering is a key part of RBS’s Markets and International Banking ‘Building Community’ Programme. RBS aims to enrich the lives of their employees and the communities in which they operate, an aim which aligned well with the Islington partnership.

By the end of 2013 RBS will have helped in the major regeneration of all twelve playgrounds involving more than 3,500 volunteer days. The investment of RBS’s employees and resources has created a lasting and positive impact on the community. With the support of RBS, all adventure playgrounds in Islington are now protected in perpetuity through Deeds of Dedication, so that they can only ever be used for children’s play.

RBS works with two partners on the Team RBS Islington Playground Challenge: SPLASH Projects, who provide project management expertise and on-site facilitation, and Islington Council. 

 

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