The sun had its hat on for the Mint Street Fun Day, an annual celebration that takes place in the Mint Street Adventure Playground and Park, on Southwark Bridge Road and Marshalsea Road.
Each year this summer play day sees hundreds of children and families descend on the tiny Mint Street park to celebrate the space and the much-loved free play centre which is open all year round. This year was no different. Fuelled by gallons of squash and BBQ food cooked above the Mint Street fire pit, children of all ages tore around the park. The youngsters darted from bouncy castle to jungle gym to ice cream stand and back, while the teens engaged in some football coaching or wandered around arms linked, deliberating hard about what track to play next on the loud speakers. Even with The Shard towering over the park, the Mint Street Fun Day had all the components of a traditional village fete: a rare sight in the midst of the city, particularly in one of the poorest boroughs in London.
Events like this don’t happen on their own. They rely on external support, donations, generosity and hard work. Better Bankside helped secure the support of several Better Bankside businesses. Staff from The Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) volunteered as stewards and ensured the children were safe in all their activities. Julie Harris, fitness instructor at women’s only gym The Bridge got the Mum’s throwing air punches and ducking ‘n’ diving when she ran a free taster ‘Boxercise’ class atop the jungle gym! Though as soon as the Magic Show was over Julie well as truly lost the limelight as the kiddies stormed the “stage” to ‘box box box!’ along too.
Rebekah Bostan, one of the parent volunteers running the event and a founding member of Better Bankside Community Partner, The Friends of the Mini Mints, said
‘We were delighted that local businesses got involved with the Mint Street Play Day and hope that this will lead to more partnerships with Bankside businesses. By supporting events like this businesses can show their commitment to engaging with Southwark’s children and young people.’
From speaking with the children it was clear to me that Mint Street and the Fun Day certainly mean a lot to them. Memories of this year’s Mint Street Fun Day will shine out when they go to look back on their summer holidays upon their return to the classroom in September.