What We Do

Marble Hill Playcentres is a voluntary organisation and registered charity located in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames.

 

For over 40 years, Marble Hill Playcentres has been providing kids and young people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities with a unique, exciting and safe environment to play, explore, be active and get messy. In a world where many kids spend significant time in structured, controlled environments, the Playcentres provide an opportunity for them to develop and express themselves in an independent, stimulating space.

Once a Council-funded facility, Marble Hill Playcentres became a charity 17 years ago when funding was sadly stopped, and since then has been reliant on the generosity and support of volunteers, users and the local community to keep operating. Having come incredibly close to closing its doors forever at the end of 2017, the Playcentres team are delighted that we have been able to secure funding to reopen this Spring.

However, in order to keep the Charity a thriving part of our community, we have had to make the difficult decision to introduce new pricing this year. Last year, less than half (44%) of the running costs (staff, equipment maintenance, health and safety) were covered by the entrance fee, leaving us a huge funding gap to fill. Whilst we remain focused on securing as much third-party funding for the Playcentres as possible, new pricing will help significantly. We have introduced a multiple entrance pass which provides a discounted rate for users to help minimise the impact of this change. These passes are not individually named so can be shared by siblings and friends, and used by carers of multiple children. We also continue to provide free passes to low income families and are proud of our long running Saturday morning Inclusive Play Project for children with additional needs – both initiatives reflecting our ambition to keep this unique facility open for as many local children to enjoy as possible. Detailed information on prices and opening times is listed on the specific One O’Clock Club and Adventure Playground sections of this website.

On a happier note, we’re making other changes to make the Playcentres as accessible and enjoyable as possible, including:

  • The One o’clock Club will be open from 1-5pm through the season (outdoor only 3.30-5pm) giving people an extra hour to enjoy the facilities and to give those who also have older children the opportunity to bring everyone to the Playcentres after school
  • Party bookings for the One o’clock Club have been reduced to £125 per 2.5hr session on Saturdays and Sundays
  • The first Saturday afternoon of every month the Adventure Playground will be open for families to enjoy together – giving parents and carers the chance to try out the swings for themselves! (entrance free for parents/carers, children at normal rate)
  • There will be new Friday and Saturday early evening birthday party hire slots (18.45-20.45) at the Adventure Playground
  • The One o’Clock Club will open a new family Playcafe on Saturday and Sunday mornings 10-12 (entrance rates as per normal)
  • We are hoping to operate a mini donations-based library at the One o’clock Club, please help us by donating any books you no longer need for 0-5 year olds
  • The Playcentre is available to hire for local clubs and community groups. Please get in touch via info@marblehillplaycentres for more information

Remember, registration for the Playcentres (mandatory for all users to register at the start of each season to ensure we have correct contact information in case of emergencies) is quick and easy on line – please register before you come. Last year over 200 hours of staff time were spent completing forms on the door so we hope you will understand that we are introducing a new £3 registration fee if you would like the Playcentre staff to complete the registration for you on arrival. If you do forget to register beforehand, it’s easy to do it yourself on your mobile device.

Thanks for taking the read about our wonderful Charity. If you would like to donate (we openly welcome your time, skills and money!) then please do so via the green button or get in touch with our team – we’d love to hear from you.