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7th June 2023

Hampshire pub opens play area to help support children and families

The Gamekeeper in Woodlands, near Southampton, is ready to welcome children to its play area which has been opened to help support the local community. 

A garden area at the pub has been refurbished to home the play area, which can be used to help entertain local children, and support their physical and mental health through exercise.  

The area, which caters for children up to the age of 12, includes a slide and a fireman pole.  The pub also has a new outdoor area where parents can sit for a coffee to socialise and keep an eye on the little ones.  

The play area was opened with the expert help and a Community Services Fund grant from Pub is The Hub, the not-for-profit organisation that helps pubs to diversify and provide essential local services.   

Publican Kerry Wolfe realised there was a need for this vital local service as there are few activities for younger children to do in the village and a large number of families in the area.  

Kerry said: “As the weather is getting warmer the play area will offer children the opportunity to exercise in a safe environment.  

“We wanted to offer this service to help families as there really is nothing for them in the local area. We look forward to offering everyone a warm welcome.”  

Pub is The Hub regional advisor Reg Clarke said: “The Gamekeeper is really at the heart of Woodlands. This play area will not only bring children together but also their wider families and members of the community.”  

He added: “Being able to bring people together by giving the children something to do while offering the parents time to socialise is a great way to overcome social isolation.”  


  • Publican Kerry Wolfe outside The Gamekeeper pub that is supporting children and families in the local area 

Editor’s Notes 

Pub is The Hub is a not-for-profit organisation, which offers independent specialist advice to publicans on rural services diversification or the options for the community ownership of pubs, so they can all provide viable local services at the heart of their community.   

With a proven track record of rural project development and delivery over the last 22 years, Pub is The Hub has worked with great publicans to open shops, libraries, cafes, community cinemas, allotments, play areas and much more. Since 2013, the organisation has also been able to offer small grants through its Community Services Fund. 

Pub is The Hub has helped over 600 pubs diversify, with almost 200 of these benefitting from help through the Community Services Fund.  

Building on its community services work, in 2018 Pub is The Hub conceived its ‘Join Inn – Last Orders for Loneliness’ campaign. ‘Join Inn’, specifically looks to support publicans and their communities to become better connected, helping local people feel less isolated and, in the process helping to alleviate loneliness. 


Twitter: @PubistheHub_uk 



Michelle Perrett

Pub is The Hub

Tel: 07881 585195