Making Space for Girls at Kingsgrove

Making Space for Girls at Kingsgrove

St. Modwen was delighted to facilitate two workshops last month, which gathered suggestions from local teenagers for the design of Kingsgrove’s Central Park. These workshops were led by artist Kerry Lemon, and Susannah Walker, co-founder of charity Make Space for Girls, which advocates for better and more inclusive facilities and public spaces for teenage girls, non-binary, and trans people.

Kerry Lemon, working on behalf of St. Modwen, Kingsgrove’s master developer, champions the inclusion of public art to the neighbourhood in a practical and enjoyable way. Having previously collaborated with students from Wantage Primary Academy on a sculpture and textured pavers project, Kerry is now working with older children to co-design some creative park furniture and a community garden.

Abingdon & Witney College students working together to create a collage.

The aim of the workshops was to think about the ways in which public spaces are designed, and for the group to share their preferences for what they’d like to see. The sessions incorporated engaging activities, such as creating collages representing their ideal park, used clay to design model pieces of outdoor furniture, encouraging the teenagers to tap into their creative side.

The brainstorming sessions led to some excellent ideas being shared from colourful seating areas to a sensory garden, to solar-powered lighting and a wildlife-friendly herb garden to make homemade herbal teas. The group also suggested stargazing skylights in shelters, circular seating to socialise and chalkboards to leave messages.

Susannah Walker said that as just 20 minutes spent outdoors each day significantly improves mental health, it’s essential that public spaces are created that are inclusive to people of all ages and genders.

Looking back on the workshops, Kerry Lemon said, “It was such a treat for me to work alongside such talented, engaged, and creative young people. They had lots of inspiring ideas for the Community Growing Space and I’m keen to work really hard to bring these ideas to life!”

One of the beautiful collages created by the students to demonstrate what their ideal park would include.