Make Space for Girls is a charity focussed on making parks work better for teenage girls. This doesn’t mean spaces painted pink or signs saying “No Boys Allowed”. It means supporting everyone involved in creating and maintaining parks to think a bit differently.
And it means being led by evidence: not by assumptions about what teenagers want and use. And data is one of the biggest current gaps.
Make Space for Girls know that standard provisions for teenagers in parks (skateparks, pitches and multi-use games areas (MUGAs) and BMX/outdoor cycle) are dominated by boys and young men. But there is no hard data on how extensive this is. Are these facilities used 90% by boys and 10% by girls? Or is it more like 70/30? This data is needed because without it, the case for change is less robust, and councils won’t know whether interventions they make to create more inclusive spaces work.
To address this gap, Make Space for Girls is running a national campaign, called ParkWatch. It will run from 27 May to 29 May 2023. They are asking people to go to the park and count how many teenagers are using MUGAs, skateparks and cycle/BMX tracks – and how many of them are girls. It is a quick spot count- taking no more than a couple of minutes. They send the results to us via our website. They will analyse the results and produce a report, available to anyone who is interested in creating more inclusive parks.