Four Bermondsey schoolchildren have been told their trampoline will be taken away by a housing association, because it’s in a communal garden.
Mum-of-four Claire Blackwell, who lives on Abbey Street, says she was shocked to receive a letter from Clarion Housing ordering the trampoline to be removed within a week, as she says it’s the only way they can play outside while she keeps an eye on them.
The 37-year-old is the primary carer for her husband, who is bed-bound, meaning she is unable to take her children out for day trips or to the park without abandoning her spouse.
Her children, aged nine, ten, eleven and twelve, now face not being able to enjoy the trampoline during the heatwave.
“My youngest is autistic, my husband’s bed-bound,” said Claire. “I can’t take them out to the park, but my children go in the communal garden with the trampoline but now I’ve been told to take it down.
“We’ve got no family or friends to take them out, and I can’t take them out because I’ve got to look after my husband.
“I thought it was a good idea, my kids have been crying to go out, they’re getting so frustrated.
“I get it’s a communal garden, but I’m in a really bad situation here.”
A letter sent to the mum seen by the News states the housing association intends to “sell or dispose” of the kids’ trampoline by next week if it’s not removed.
Clarion Housing said it sympathised with Claire’s situation, but that it couldn’t allow the trampoline to stay in place.
“I’ve been complaining to the association about people coming in-and-out of the garden, they don’t want to talk about the fence being broken,” said Claire. “Nobody came out for all that.
“But I’m not planning on taking it down, this is the only way my kids can get any enjoyment, otherwise they’d be sitting indoors watching TV all day.”
A Clarion spokesperson said: “We have a legal responsibility to ensure that communal gardens within our communities are safe for use.
“Most people enjoy being outdoors when the weather is good and in order to ensure all our residents can safely enjoy their communal gardens, fixed play equipment such as trampolines are not permitted within these areas.”
The trampoline is due to be disposed of by August 19.