Grassroots is a community centre situated on the edge of Memorial Park in West Ham. It's really close to West Ham tube station, and there is also a free car park on the site. There are places for parking your bike or your kid's buggy, solar panels all over the place, and the building and surrounds are accessible for wheelchair and scooter users.
On Fattylympics day, we'll have use of a big hall inside the building, where there will be stalls and whatnot going on, and places to have a rest if it all becomes too much. There's a café on site but we'll need to check if it's open. You can bring a picnic, and there will be things for sale to eat and drink too.
There were a few things that made us really excited about the site:
The building looks a bit like Teletubbyland. It has a green roof that you can go on, and lovely slopes that look perfect for rolling down, no dog poo there either.
There's a space out front that has a memorial sculpture on it for the shipbuilders and people who were killed in a terrible accident. Grim. But the sculpture is in the form of big rusty hammers that you can clang. If a load of people clang them together it will sound incredible. We must use this in our opening ceremony.
There are different kinds of areas that would be great for different things: a grassy area surrounded by trees; an area with a hard surface just in front of the building; an amphitheatre. There are places for kids to play, a fat-friendly swing and a roundabout too.
The whole site is within spitting distance of the You Know Whats, but sort of untainted by them. It's a public park with community history and connections, there will be other park users there on the day, but it's also a peaceful place and there will be enough space for everyone that wants to come. The building is comfortable and modern, just right for us. Even on a cold January afternoon we could imagine a happy group of people having fun on 7 July.
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|Aerial view. Click the image to make it bigger.|
|This is the hammer sculpture|
|Inside the hall, it looks out onto the park|
|Bike racks, hard surface|
|Out the back|
|Solar panels and the green roof|