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Make-Do Play

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We run free outdoor play sessions in Islington for all ages, embracing unstructured, child-led play with loose parts.

Make-Do Play is run by playworkers Dom and Kerri. Between us we have over 20 years of experience working at adventure playgrounds and other children’s services, but we are also parents of young children and understand how unaffordable a lot of children’s activities can be. We wanted to offer an alternative to structured classes: a drop-in, informal space rooted in the Playwork Principles, where children could play however they wished without adult instruction and not segregated by age. We offer loose parts, open-ended arts and crafts, messy play, den making, mud kitchens, woodwork, dressing-up clothes.

Islington is one of the most deprived local authority areas in the country - 43% of children are living in poverty and many households are overcrowded with no outside space of their own. The garden provides a desperately needed green space to many local residents on the neighbouring estates, and our free play sessions are accessible to families who may have little disposable income to spend on children's activities.

We currently run regular sessions at two venues:
Tollyrise Happiness Garden, a new community garden which is being created at St Mary’s Hornsey Rise (a joint project by Hornsey Lane Estate Community Association, Octopus Communities and Brickworks Community Centre). We’re really excited to be involved. As well as delivering drop-in play sessions we will also work towards making the garden a playful space for families to visit at all times.
Thus year we also begin a new project at Waterside Adventure Playground in Angel, in partnership with Awesome CIC. Our early years sessions will open up this invaluable space to families during the week and enable a wider age range to access the playground.

We are utterly committed to our sessions being completely free and inclusive to everyone. Play is the right of every child and shouldn’t come with a price-tag. Therefore we rely on your donations alongside grants to be able to continue our sessions and keep them free of charge.

As we expand with new projects in more spaces, we find ourselves more than ever in need of resources such as art and craft materials, tools, and new play equipment. This is where your donations are so valuable.

Here’s some of the wonderful things that have been said by our little community:

“It was joyous. Just what we needed”

“I have never seen my child have such free rein and space for imagination. There was such an amazing variety of activities”

”I honestly couldn’t rave about this group enough”

“Honestly the best day out we’ve had recently! It made me so happy to see both children having so much fun! My heart is full”

“Make-Do Play is surely one of the happiest places to be.”

“They’ve done an absolutely brilliant job of offering just what we all need right now - a bit of freedom, a bit of creativity and a bit of socialisation - it was just lovely”


  • Andrea Dumbrell
    • £50 
    • 13 d
  • Conner Southall
    • £10 
    • 2 mos
  • Anonymous
    • £10 
    • 2 mos
  • Anonymous
    • £10 
    • 2 mos
  • Maddy Pickard
    • £10 
    • 3 mos


Dominique Wicks

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