There will be teddy bears, dinosaurs, little faces and snacks. You’d better be in for a big surprise, for today's the day the teddy bears have their picnic! Safety concerns and limited recreational facilities prevent the children of one of Melbourne’s biggest public housing estate in Ascot Vale from playing outside. We would like to plan a series of ‘Teddy Bear Picnics’ for families of young children who live on and around the Estate.
A 2016 Needs Assessment of residents living on Ascot Vale Housing Estate highlighted over 70% of respondents were concerned with safety on the estate, with violent crimes being their main concern. Residents do not use the facilities on the estate, including parks, due to their safety concerns. Financial constraints also affect families on the estate with an estimated 84% of residents experiencing unemployment. Previous public activities such as ‘pop up’ parks and cultural festivals have been well attended by the community, and it is this experience combined with community feedback that informs this idea. We propose holding 4 Picnics, 1 each term, designed to provide families a chance to meet and spend time playing outdoors. The aim of the event is to support locals to safely spend time outside their apartment and to provide a much needed space for young children to socialise and play. The project would be attended by an estimated 70 families; it’s a simple but exciting event that will give so much.
These facilitated events will be run by a local community member who would set up and facilitate the event with volunteers. Employing a local resident from a culturally and linguistically diverse background will give an opportunity to build their capacity and to develop new skills. Community Development staff from the Wingate Ave Community Centre (WACC) have committed to mentoring and supporting the staff member. We will also work closely with the Maternal Child Health Centre to engage with the most vulnerable families.
Funded by Melbourne (November 2017)