More than just a play area…

Who are they?

Where are they?

Lambeth, London.

What do they do?
Specialise in children with disabilities.

How big are they?
3 full time staff, but around 120 others in total.

What did they receive?
Donations from Microsoft, Cisco and Symantec including server software and a router.

The outcome?
Substantial upgrade in IT facilities for this highly-regarded charity.
Situated in the London borough of Lambeth, and taking its name from one of the area’s most famous sons, Charlie Chaplin Adventure Playground has been providing play services for its community for over 25 years.

“We are the only charity in Lambeth that specialises in children with disabilities, on a large scale,” says Med Thomas, Finance Officer at the organisation. “We have three full time staff, but a pool of around 120 others.”

Despite the ‘adventure playground’ title, the charity provides far more than an area for kids to let off steam. “We have a music room, as music has a calming effect on some of the children; we have activities such as cycling and dancing; there is a therapeutic ‘quiet room’ available for people when they need it,” says Med.

“We also work very closely with schools to run play schemes, and offer lots of in-house training here to teach people how to deal with children with disabilities.”

Clearly there is a big IT requirement behind the scenes here, with so many staff and children involved. Charlie Chaplin Adventure Playground has taken CTX donations from Cisco and Symantec, and twice from Microsoft – including much-needed Windows Server software. “That made quite a difference,” says Med.

Would the charity have been able to purchase this software at market rates? “No way!” Med laughs out loud. “What happened was that my line manager drew up a list of software that it was felt we needed. And I was able to say ‘don’t worry – we have a way’ – I was aware of CTX, and got on to order it.”

And he would recommend to donation scheme to other charities? “Yes, yes, yes. We will need to return to CTX in the future ourselves. Technology goes so fast – we need to upgrade with it.”


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