Inner city kids create urban oasis

Stockwell is one of London's most deprived areas, but now a bid to build an urban jungle play are by sharing the cost using crowdfunding could open up a whole new world for youngsters.

Oasis, a Stockwell-based kids charity, is planning to build a forest-garden – an urban jungle where kids can learn about wildlife, plants and biodiversity. They are using to raise the money. The charity wants youngsters in this deprived part of south London to gain first-hand experience of nature.

With public funding for these projects now, thanks to the cuts by the Con-Lib coalition's austerity measures, non-existent in many areas, the concept of crowdfunding – where local people and firms pledge small amounts towards a single idea – is growing in popularity.

The 'learn as you play' adventure garden – known as Stockwell Urban Oasis – will feature a quirky tree house designed by a local artist, as well as useful and edible plants for children to experience.

Oasis also encourage local adults to become involved with the space – be it though gardening or getting involved in projects with the children – helping the playground to become a more multi-generational space, and to generate more volunteers for the charity.

The project has been supported by Spacehive, an online platform that helps anyone design and fund neighborhood inprovement projects. Spacehive's open financing platform allows any local person to contribute towards the cost of making community projects happen and improve their local area. Spacehive is looking to help in the creation of something that will make use of dead and delining inner city sites.

Chris Gourlay, founder of, the crowdfunding website, said: “taking grass-roots campaign literally, this is precisely the kind of project that we wanted to see flourish. By using the web to bring people together and find funding for projects that would otherwise never happen, communities can make a real difference to their areas and this is a shining example of what can be achieved.”

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