We’ve been published in a book!

Writing a chapter in this book was a fantastic experience. It took us on a journey back to the beginning of the trials and tribulation of setting up the charity. But it was also a significant personal achievement for two reasons:

  1. I was the kid at school who had to have extra English lessons during school assembly, because I was so bad at writing. Me and my friend used to hide in the toilet when the kids were on their way back from assembly so no one knew we had to go to the lower class for extra lessons!
  2. The book which we have been published in, is alongside authors I used to study at University. Now we are in a book alongside them and I might now be the person referenced by students!

So, how did it come about?

In 2015 Elizabeth Cummins emailed us to see if we wanted to write a chapter within her book about our experience building playgrounds in Uganda. We obviously said yes, excited at the prospect but equally realistic of the likelihood of this coming off.

In December 2015, we sat down to brainstorm the chapter we were tasked to write. After several drafts, screwed up paper and a differing opinion over the structure. We came up with our chapter … ‘Stepping stones to building many play spaces’.

The chapter leads you from how we set up the charity to each hurdle we faced along the way. We divided the chapter into years, sharing what we learn as we went along. We wanted to be honest and open with our trials and tribulations, to give the reader a real understanding of how it felt and the love and time it takes to nurture your passion.

An example of our honesty within the chapter is how much, in the early days, we used to dread the opening day of the playgrounds. *GASP* I know. Everyone always thinks that would be the day we would feel most proud and excited. But no, that day was always full of dread, anxiety and nerves for Tom and I.

‘What if the playground fell apart?’ ‘What it the children didn’t like it?’

So many concerns! Yet, obviously, all these concerns were unfounded. We held in-depth community consultations so we knew what the children wanted and we tested and researched all the materials repeatedly to ensure their strength and safety. But still this was an anxiety filled day.

Getting the charity to where it is today, has really been a labour of love. This book is another amazing milestone in East African Playgrounds journey.

You can buy our book on Amazon – How to Grow a Playspace: Development and Design

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Next blog: Prepping for a summer of volunteer playground fun!

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