Volunteering blitz at Woodford Green charity play area

“Years of work” at an adventure playground for people with disabilities was completed by 120 volunteers in just four hours last week.

Bosses at ELHAP, Roding Lane North, Woodford Green, have praised the volunteering blitz which has “rejuvenated” the playground.

The charity lays on play activities for young people and adults.

The volunteers, from music gigs organiser Orange RockCorps, were given tasks including repainting the main play structure and clearing areas overgrown with vegetation, such as the driveway.

ELHAP manager Robert Dighton said: “We organised some really big tasks that were way beyond us.

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“It would have taken years to get one of them done.

“We have old stables and garages that hadn’t been cleared since 1978. It’s really opened things up.”

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He added: “Clearing the driveway was a massive task.

“We need a lot more parking spaces for minibuses because we’re visited by so many schools. The work the volunteers did has hugely improved access.

The volunteering day was first held last year, when officers from Fullwell Safer Neighbourhood Team (SNT) introduced members of Orange RockCorps to ELHAP.

SNT Sgt Andy Hobson said: “The day was fantastic. They really put in a lot ofhard work.

“What they’ve done in one day, ELHAP wouldn’t be able to do in two years, which tells you how much was done.”

The 120 people who gave up their time on Saturday have been awarded tickets to an Orange RockCorps concert in Wembley Arena on July 12.

Mr Dighton said of the work: “It’s really improved the play environment as well as the quality.

“It’s a brilliant way of engaging with young people.

“And it’s an amazing way for the police to get to know the young people.

“Hats off to Pc Adrian Towler [of Fullwell SNT]. He was really the star of the show.”

ELHAP offers play opportunities to more than 5,500 people across north east London and Essex.

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