After three months of searching for a partner to develop the playground with, we met Robert Kennedy who had just resigned from a youth organisation after funding cuts had forced him onto a zero hours contract. Having grown up in Bridgeton (a mile from the Baltic Street site), he got had involved in youth work after receiving a serious head injury during a local a gang fight. Community work provided an immediate and viable way out of trouble. Many established play organisations had struggled in the past to work in Dalmarnock, and Robert's consistent sensitivity, humour and understanding in dealing with the needs of local young people have been at the heart of all decision making about the playground and its future.
With no prior experience in playwork, Robert has been on a journey together with Assemble and the wider project team, reading, talking, and most importantly visiting adventure playgrounds throughout the UK and Europe. Travelling and spending time in playgrounds and with playworkers, Robert and his brother Alan, who also works at Baltic Street, have been able to learn first hand about the range and depth of opportunities that adventure play can offer to communities, as well as the challenges playgrounds face, both internally and externally. Robert is now the lead Playworker at Baltic Street Adventure Playground, and will continue to work with Assemble for another year, during which time he will gradually take on more responsibility in managing and running the organisation.