“We’re not shutting – we’re expanding”

Residents have been assured that Paulsgrove children’s adventure park, Inside-Out isn’t closing its gates after unfounded reports that the centre might face the axe.

The reports surfaced from local media after Portsmouth City Council revealed their budget cuts for the coming financial year but play supervisor John Hale said he has been assured that the centre is safe from cuts and that they actually have plans to build more facilities on the site.

One of six Council-run children’s centres in Portsmouth, the play area caters for children aged between six and thirteen during term-time and holidays.

Facilities already include a giant slide, sand pits and tire swings but Mr Hale said he wants to build more activities from the ideas of the children.

He said: “People often tell me that kids today don’t know how to play, but that’s just not true.

“If you give them freedom to use their imagination they have great ideas the problem is that they don’t want to be told how to play.

“We will build on their ideas because then they have ownership and sovereignty which makes their play experience even better.”

The large indoor space has more fun activities including Ping-Pong, a kitchen and arts and crafts.

Staffed by fully qualified individuals, the playground also has help from volunteer Sam*, 15 who said: “I’m a bit old for the park now but I come back here every day to volunteer because I know I used to enjoy it as a kid.

“I’d like to work with children when I’m older and this is a good opportunity to get out of the house.”

Visibly fond of their tailored play area, the children were imaginative on how to expand, suggesting ideas such as a tree house, a swimming pool and Rapunzel’s castle.

Adventurous Molly*, 7 said: “I think we should build a really big roller-coaster that goes upside down!”

Mr Hale said that while the rollercoaster was a nice idea, they were going to start with the tree house.

Image

Inside-Outside Playground, Paulsgrove

*All children’s names have been changed.

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