It has been an amazing year for me at Pop-Up Adventure Play. Not only have I managed to travel to two new countries with this little charity, but I have also started embedding play into my own community. I’ve been in the field for over 10 years now but have never had the opportunity to work on my own doorstep, but thanks to the Co-op Local Community Fund, I had a little bit of cash, a network of people, and a desire to make a difference in my neighbourhood.

Celebrating a play-filled 2018, the year has flown by and I have an overwhelming feeling of being happy-tired when I think back. It’s been busy but a good busy and I am so very proud to be telling you about the following numbers:

We hosted 19 pop-up adventure playgrounds…
….in 4 different locations…
….where over 466 children between the ages of 0-16…
….were brought to play by 374+ adults.

We did this using £2,554.30 from the Co-op Local Community Fund…
…which was supplemented by £800 from Friday Food Nights at Radcliffe Market Hall and £100 from Prestwich Arts Festival…
…and further amplified by £558.86 of donations from wonderful play supporters in the local area from a variety of fundraising opportunities.

This means we were able to raise a total of £4063.16 in 2018.

This couldn’t have been possible without an amazing network of people whom I will now attempt to list and thank personally. Brace yourselves for a lot of gratefulness. I have to thank thank you to….

Financial Support:
~ Co-op Local Community Fund – for giving us our start
~ Friday Food Nights at Radcliffe Market Hall, specifically Jodie – for having faith in the longevity of the project
~ Prestwich Arts Festival, specifically Jane – for reaching out and expanding our local reach
~ Folks of the local community – for your generosity

~ David – for being my rock, steady and calm at all times
~ Charlotte – for speaking up at the right time, and being there just when we needed
~ Andy – for taking the time to drive over the Pennines
~ Fiona – for helping when emotions spilled over
~ Mildred – for believing in the power of the box
~ Avanah – for being our first young volunteer
~ Faye – for rocking up and then just rolling with it
~ Dad – for being there every time I wondered if everything was going to fall apart
~ Pat – for saying yes and being there even though things were mad

~ Heaton Park Methodist Church – for believing in me and being the first location to host (read more about this location)
~ Radcliffe Market Hall – for ongoing support and patience with our mess
~ Phoenix Centre – for enjoying the madness, twice
~ St Mary’s Park – for opening up your space to us for the first ever outdoor pop-up

Other Donations:
~ Live Electrical Radcliffe (encouragement, little boxes, tape and a million white stickers)
~ Think Design (business support, a big roll of brown paper and boxes)
~ Think Flooring and Carpets (cardboard tubes and carpet samples)
~ Radcliffe Flooring (carpet samples, cardboard tubes and vinyl samples)
~ Warent Feingold (business support, encouragement, accounts and boxes)
~ Self Storage Ian (loose parts and stuff for fundraising events)
~ Stanmore Insurance (insurance, ball pool balls and boxes)
~ Matt (moving house boxes)
~ Emma (box factory boxes)
~ Lindsay (boxes and an amazing pop-up sign)
~ Lynne (boxes and packing materials)
~ Pres (boxes and baskets)
~ Jade (boxes)
~ Rebecca (loose parts, packing materials and boxes)
~ Home Bird Crafts (raffle prize and giant box)
~ Adele (raffle prizes and boxes)
~ Lee and Dave (stuff for fundraising events)
~ Fiona and family (Judy the Trolley and stuff for fundraising events)

Celebrating a play-filled 2018

This isn’t the whole list. I know it’s not. There have been some secret donations, some passing conversations, some folks who have been supporting us without me even realising. To everyone who secretly left a roll of stickers on my table, or argued my case for a pop-up in a location, or invited a connection to come over and say hello, or shared my event in good faith, or fed me when I was too busy to feed myself…. thank you. You folks are wonderful, you genuinely are. Thank you so much for everything you have done to make this year go smoothly. All these playful events, all this talk of play, all the boxes and the play opportunities and the random fundraising, it is for you. Thank you in believing in the cause, and thank you for being part of it. As we are celebrating a play-filled 2018, let’s do it all again in 2019.

Pop-Ups Zan has been running Pop-Up Adventure Playgrounds in the Manchester community and is super excited to be doing it as Just Play MCR by Pop-Up Adventure Play – a brand new FB page that will host the events. Go check it out and join the community of Manchester’s play advocates!

By Zan