Elf 'n' safety police outlaw children's communal trampoline (even though it has a safety net)
By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 8:53 AM on 31st August 2010
Sharon Farmer has been ordered to take down her trampoline because it constitutes a safety risk (file picture)
A childminder has been ordered to take down a trampoline – because youngsters could ‘injure themselves’ if they bounce off it and onto the grass.
Sharon Farmer has put up the 14ft trampoline in communal gardens in Lewisham, south London, for the past decade, but has been told by housing association bosses she must remove it for health and safety reasons.
The mother-of-one said she was devastated after being told to take down the trampoline - which has a safety net around the sides - by London and Quadrant Housing Association (L&Q).
She said she put the trampoline up every summer to give children in the area 'something to do' and said that play is supervised 'at all times'.
She said more than 40 youngsters - including the ones she looks after as a childminder - love bouncing on the trampoline.
She said: 'I have written permission from parents on the estate for their children to go on it and I am insured for the children I look after.
'There have never been any accidents because mine has a net.'
She added: 'It's never been a problem until L & Q took over, but now they are saying children could hurt themselves if they bounce off and onto the grass.
'What else are you meant to do on a trampoline?
'When the children are on the trampoline they are behaving themselves. It keeps them active and we know where they are.
'They are not allowed to play ball games on the green, so what else are they supposed to do?'
Julie Spence, 25, said: 'This trampoline has been around for years.
'We all know we can take out kids there and they can have a nice time bouncing around for a while.
'There's a safety net, so a kid would really have to bounce pretty high to end up on the ground.'
She added: 'Trampolines are for bouncing on - what else can you do with them?
'Maybe the housing association expect kids to just stand on it - they are a bunch of killjoys.'
Leanie Birchall's two children, aged five and nine, are cared for by Mrs Farmer when she is at university.
The 33-year-old said: 'I think it's disgusting. The trampoline has been put up for years.
'It's supervised so to say it is a safety risk is a very poor excuse.'
An L & Q spokesman said it would be checking the trampoline was taken down by the time kids go back to school next week, adding: 'We have agreed the trampoline can remain until the end of the school holidays.
'The trampoline will be re-assessed next spring in conjunction with health and safety representatives to determine if there are any potential risks to residents from their use.'
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