Bringing a community together with play

Community Weaver Sue Rei is poised for the next journey with the locals of the Lower Hutt communities of Taita and Pomare.

Common Ground saw an almost forgotten and neglected local park transformed into a safe and appealing space for all members of the community to enjoy. From the elderly to the very young, with the help of the local community and their friends at Wesley Community Action, they banded together and collectively brought the Walter Nash Park back to life.

Tākaro Ngātahi

Tākaro Ngātahi is the next step in the journey for Common Ground, with a focus on supporting whānau with young children to grow their relationships through play. Common Ground have been given a huge lot of toys from a disestablished local toy library and have recently in partnership with Hutt City Council brought a container onsite to store the toys.

With some funding from SKIP and many volunteer hours, they're well into the process of cleaning and sorting the collection of toys. But there are no plans to open another toy library. There are plans however, to get locals involved again and to gather all their ideas on how the toys might be used in different ways, especially for whānau who're unlikely to join a toy library.

Everyone is a partner

Whether it's family days, street parties or pop up play spaces, Tākaro Ngātahi is looking 'outside of the box' at how, where and who these toys could reach.

"Although the focus is on young children and their parents, the wider community is always invited to be part of it," Sue says.

"We want to explore and try out new ways to make the most of these great resources. To do that we have to listen, go at their speed and respect what they're saying because everybody is a partner in this."

It's hoped that in the process, more whānau will get to enjoy playing with their tamariki and create some new connections and friendships in their community as they do.

Sue Rei

Watch this ‘play space’…. 

This community project was made possible with support from the SKIP Local Initiative Fund.  If you have a great idea to make positive change for whānau in your community get in touch with us.