Like so many, Meriden Adventure Playground, in the West Midlands, is having to fight a rearguard action to preserve even its meagre level of funding. It faces an uncertain future; something not lost on its young users.
These include a girl called Misha, who earlier this week delivered this message, via the playground staff, to the adult world.
I am your future, I am your forgotten youth.
I am the friend you played kirby with. I was your secret keeper, your companion, climber of trees, jumper of brooks, the mischief-maker, the person that defended you, the one that held your hand.
I am youth, I am you.
You cut our clubs and you make places disappear, you disregard our fun and bring us fear.
Communities ignore us, governments use us, we are just tools to be abused. The media shows lies to sell papers. The government tells lies to gain votes, while the youth are left powerless without any hope.
Who will be our hero, who will be our voice, what will we do if someone doesn’t make a noise when we try to stand up for ourselves? We only get pushed back down.
“You cut our clubs and you make places disappear, you disregard our fun and bring us fear”
Why do you hate us? What have we done for you to treat us this way? You say you only want the best for us, but without asking us you don’t know what we want, what we need.
Instead you assume you know what’s best and when it all goes wrong, who do you blame? Us.
We never seem to please you, everything we do is wrong one way or the other. We try so hard but you only see us for the bad. What is your problem with us? Why are we being moaned at for being ourselves?
We go out not to be criticised but to have fun. Who cares what we look like, who cares about what you think you see. The inside is what matters.
I have a dream that one day we will all be seen as equals.