Greenstead ParkPlay celebrates first anniversary

PUBLISHED: 2 October 2023

Colchester’s Greenstead ParkPlay marked its first birthday with a special celebratory session on Saturday, 30 September.

ParkPlay has successfully established 45 ParkPlays across the UK with the support of partners like Sport England. With a participation rate of over 6,000+ individuals on Saturday mornings, the initiative has greatly contributed to encouraging families to move more and lead healthier lifestyles.

Since its launch on 1 October 2022, Greenstead ParkPlay, Colchester's second ParkPlay, has attracted 143 unique players with a total attendance of 410 to the Hickory Avenue Playground on Saturday mornings.

Cllr Natalie Sommers, Colchester City Council Portfolio Holder for Communities, praised Greenstead ParkPlay for becoming a thriving hub for families and individuals alike.

She said: “It's the perfect way to kickstart your weekend. ParkPLay offers two hours of free play in the park every Saturday, providing an inclusive and active experience for all ages. Whether you want to increase your physical activity, showcase your talents, or simply meet new people, ParkPlay offers incredible entertainment for you and your family.”

Cllr Sommers also extended her gratitude to the dedicated local volunteers who ensure the success of the community ParkPlay sessions, adding: “They exemplify the magnificent spirit of the residents of Colchester, especially in these challenging economic times.”

ParkPlay is hoping to launch in Monkwick later this year and is currently looking for a community volunteer to lead ParkPlay there. Cllr Sommers is encouraging individuals in the community to volunteer as PlayLeaders and would be thrilled to see ParkPlay expanded across all of Colchester.

This opportunity is ideal for people who love their community, want to make a positive impact, are keen to get them and the people around them active, or simply wish to form meaningful connections and friendships. Regardless of the motivation, Cllr Sommers encourages those interested to email Amber, Essex ParkPlay Coordinator via They offer comprehensive training programs that allow volunteers to develop both personally and professionally.

Interested individuals can register to join their local ParkPlay easily and quickly through the website.

The funding for the ParkPlays in Colchester has been provided by Colchester City Council and Active Essex. This initiative is part of the Sport England Local Delivery Pilot (LDP), an ongoing programme from 2018 to 2025 that aims to test new health and wellbeing projects, including Street Tag and Essex Pedal Power. The LDP complements the efforts of the NHS in encouraging healthy and active lifestyles, with the expectation of reducing the prevalence of long-term conditions, such as cardiovascular disease and Type-2 diabetes, and improving mental health.

Page last reviewed: 2 October 2023


Subscribe to receive updates on Council news, events and offers, green living, leisure and sport, museums, committees, jobs and more.