Enhanced play facilities for children open in Jubilee Gardens

Reopened playground offers new nautical Thames themed play equipment for younger children and for those with differing abilities as well as more sensory sound vision and touch experiences.

Local MP Florence Eshalomi and Cllr Claire Holland, the Leader of Lambeth Council, joined local councillors and Jubilee Gardens Trust Members along with children from Oasis Academy Johanna and Coin Street Nursery on Thursday May 26 to celebrate the reopening of the new and enhanced playground at Jubilee Gardens on Belvedere Road, SE1.

The playground caters for all children from toddlers to age 11 by offering enough risk that users with high physical ability have opportunities to push themselves while also ensuring there are numerous accessible opportunities for play for those with disabilities to engage with and join in with other children.

The works have been funded by Lambeth Council using developer contributions towards improvements for the local area.

Our new large Play Ship is ideal for younger children providing unlimited opportunities for adventure from climbing and a double slide to imaginative play as ship’s captain on the bridge! New sensory and accessible items such as Conferences, talking tubes installed along the perimeter of the fence including some at seated height, help to create safe spaces which are accessible and enjoyable for many people that are neurodivergent. Wheelchair users and those in prams have been considered in the design with a Rocking Plate located near to the entrance, a bespoke Pairs Game, including icons associated with London and the South Bank and a Stroking Stone Seal a friendly creature to touch, sit and play on. The smooth shapes of the concrete form provide a different tactile experience for all users. For children with limited mobility a Sea-Roarer can be tilted and rolled by shifting their weight on the large steel disc creating crashing wave sounds of a rolling ocean.

Unusually, for a prime Central London open space, Jubilee Gardens is managed by a small locally based charitable trust, comprising representatives of local residents, businesses and adjacent landowners.

Ted Inman, Chair of the Jubilee Gardens Trust which manages the gardens, said: “Over 8m people visited Jubilee Gardens every year prior to the pandemic and the playground is a much-loved essential play space for local children and visitors to enjoy. As a charity we rely on grants to keep Jubilee Gardens safe and beautiful. We are grateful for the s106 funding from Southbank Place provided through Lambeth Council which enabled us to make this much needed upgrade to the playground.”

Cllr Holland said “Playgrounds and greenspaces like Jubilee Gardens are essential for children’s wellbeing, particularly for the 70 per cent of local residents who don’t have access to a garden. The reopening of this playground is great news for local children who have a safe, challenging and fun environment in which to enjoy being outdoors and with their peers. It is particularly important that the playground caters for all children and is genuinely inclusive to their needs.”

Managing Director Paul Collings of Timberplay who created the playground, said “Jubilee gardens is an exceptional play space used by thousands of people each day, the design we created ensures its longevity for years to come. Play is key in the development of children on every level and Jubilee Gardens plays a major role in this within central London and is a project we are extremely proud to be involved with.”

“Sustainable management of the Jubilee Gardens refurbishment was considered during the design process. We identified where we could re-use timbers from the playground to ensure as little waste as possible and we have also re-used safety surfacing where possible making only repairs around the new play pieces”

Jubilee Gardens next to the London Eye were created in 1977 for the Queen’s Silver Jubilee. They were re-landscaped in 2012 for the Diamond Jubilee and visited by The Queen in that Jubilee year. The playground reopens in time for the 2012 Jubilee Gardens to celebrate its 10th anniversary and for the Platinum Jubilee celebrations.

Playground refurbishment

Thanks to Lambeth Council we have secured £162k from Southbank Place s106 funds to refurbish and renew the existing timber climbing structures of the adventure playground which are now 10 years old and approaching the end of their usable lifespan.

Work begins on 25th April 2022 and will be completed by the end of May. The playground will be closed throughout this time but the rest of Jubilee Gardens will remain open as normal.

We are also considering plans for a significant extension to the playground which will provide new tactile and sensory opportunities for children with disabilities as well as for younger children. Our income is diminished as a result of the pandemic so we will need to raise the £150k-£200k it will need to create this extension.

Volunteer Role: Treasurer

Volunteer Treasurer – Jubilee Gardens Trust

  • Location: South Bank, Greater London (Hybrid)
  • Unpaid role, expenses paid
  • Voluntary, 0.5-1 day per month

Job description

Jubilee Gardens Trust, the local charity responsible for Jubilee Gardens on London’s South Bank, is looking for a volunteer Treasurer to join the Trustee board. Jubilee Gardens is one of the busiest green spaces in the country, with 7m-8m users each year pre-Covid, a turnover of c.£0.5m pa, and reserves of c.£1.5m. The board is made up of representatives of local resident organisations, local businesses and adjoining landowners including Shell and Southbank Centre.

Our new Treasurer is likely to be a qualified Accountant with an understanding of Charity SORP, to chair the Trust’s Finance Committee and to lead the Board’s duty to ensure proper accounting records are kept, financial resources are controlled and invested in line with governance, legal and regulatory requirements. The role is one of oversight, not day-to-day management – the Trust has a service contract which provides qualified staff to manage its financial affairs.

This is a volunteer role, though reasonable expenses can be reimbursed. The Board meets four times a year, and the Finance Committee six times a year, though the role will require some time outside these meetings. The Trust plays a significant role in the South Bank and Waterloo community and we believe that candidates would find the treasurer role interesting and rewarding. People from all backgrounds are welcomed – the Trust aspires to have a diverse board reflecting its users and communities.

The following would be desirable:

  • A qualified Accountant/Treasurer – chartered level preferred
  • Ideally with some experience of working in the charities sector – not essential
  • Auditing and risk management skills and experience
  • Good understanding of Charity SORP

Please apply via Charity Job here 

The deadline for applications is 30th March 2022 at 23:59.

Jubilee Gardens receives Green Flag Award!

Today, the Jubilee Gardens Trust and maintenance partner The Nurture Landscapes Group, together with local MP for Vauxhall Florence Eshalomi, celebrated winning a Green Flag Award at Jubilee Gardens.

Jubilee Gardens Green Flag Award 2021/22
Local MP Florence Eshalomi, Jubilee Gardens Trust Chair Ted Inman and trustees, along with representatives of maintenance partner The Nurture Landscapes Group.

The award is the international quality mark for parks and green spaces.

After 18 months that have seen our parks and green spaces play a vital role for people through lockdowns as a place to relax, exercise and meet friends and family safely, the news that Jubilee Gardens has achieved the Green Flag Award is testament to the hard work and dedication of the team that make this immensely popular green space an area that everyone can enjoy.

Unusually, for a prime Central London open space, Jubilee Gardens is managed by a small locally based charitable trust, comprising representatives of local residents, businesses and adjacent landowners.

Ted Inman, Chair of the Jubilee Gardens Trust which manages the gardens, said: “As one of the busiest and best-loved green spaces in Central London we are delighted that Jubilee Gardens has achieved a prestigious Green Flag Award. With a footfall of some 8 million people a year prior to the pandemic, we provide essential space to play and relax for South Bank residents, local workers and visitors alike. We’d like to thank our maintenance partner The Nurture Landscapes Group for keeping the Gardens safe and looking beautiful, especially during this difficult time.”

Florence Eshalomi MP added her thanks and congratulations, saying “Jubilee Gardens provides a welcome green space in the heart of London which has been vital during the pandemic. It has been especially important for the 70%* of local residents who don’t have access to a garden, with parks such as Jubilee Gardens offering green space for exercise and access to nature which has such a benefit for mental health.”

Simon Cummins, Regional Manager, Nurture Landscapes Group added “We are delighted to be awarded Jubilee Gardens first Green Flag Award. This is a real testament to the great collaboration and teamwork between all stakeholders, the Jubilee Gardens Trust and our fantastic team. The gardens are maintained to a really high standard and enjoyed by many visitors on a daily basis, so it is great to have all the hard work that goes into maintaining this beautiful green space recognised.”

Commenting on the news that Jubilee Gardens has achieved the Green Flag Award standard, Green Flag Award Scheme Manager Paul Todd said: “I would like to congratulate everyone involved in making Jubilee Gardens worthy of a Green Flag Award.”

“To meet the requirements demanded by the scheme is testament to the hard work of the staff and volunteer trustees who do so much to ensure that Jubilee Gardens has high standards of horticulture, safety and environmental management and is a place that supports people to live healthy lives.”

The Green Flag Award scheme, managed by environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy under licence from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, recognises and rewards well-managed parks and green spaces, setting the benchmark standard for the management of green spaces across the United Kingdom and around the world.

Celebrating Green Flag Award at Jubilee Gardens
Florence Eshalomi MP with Chair of Jubilee Gardens Trust Ted Inman and trustees, celebrate with members of The Nurture Landscapes Group maintenance team.

A new member of the garden team!

We recently welcomed a new member to the Jubilee Gardens team!

Paras - new member of our garden team

Paras Sanghavi completed a two-week work placement at Jubilee Gardens as part of his Bankside Open Spaces Trust (BOST) Future Gardeners course in the middle of June.

Paras impressed us all with his attitude and hard work during his placement which has now led to a position working with our team two days per week.

Launched in 2016, Future Gardeners is an innovative training and work experience scheme, giving participants the core skills to gain entry-level jobs in the horticulture industry without having any previous experience or specialist education. Jubilee Gardens are proud to support this scheme.