Originally Palace Playground, the Antony Lillis Project was established in 2005 and was renamed in 2011 after the passing of a local Conservative Councillor for Hammersmith and Fulham.
Antony Lillis was a Fulham boy, born and bred, who sadly died suddenly from cancer in 2011. Antony understood what communities needed and paid special attention to helping and supporting disadvantaged people, and those that voluntarily provided services that they so desperately needed. As he had showed great interest in, and shown immense support to our organisation, we felt it necessary and fitting to pay tribute to him. We decided to continue running our project in is name and with the blessing of Antony's family, we re-named and launched the ‘Antony Lillis Project for Children and Young People with Complex Needs’, or ‘Lillis Project’ for short.
The aim of the Antony Lillis Project has always been to provide a safe, stimulating, professional, non-discriminatory, and inclusive play provision for children and young people with additional needs. All our young people receive 1:1 support at minimum, are extremely vulnerable and have a variety of needs, including Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Down Syndrome, developmental delays, speech and language delay, mobility issues, limited understanding, no sense of danger and sensory impairments to name a few.
We currently work with Hammersmith & Fulham, Kensington & Chelsea and Ealing councils, providing support for young people aged 8-25 years. We are allocated young people that present complex and challenging behaviours and some of our young people are unable to access or have been excluded from other provisions – for some families we are their last resort. We have never turned a young person away and have always endeavoured to work with families and other professionals as much as possible to extend opportunities for young people with disabilities and to support them in the best way possible.
We aim to help the young people in our care develop positive life skills, building confidence and self-esteem through praise, encouragement, and short trips into the community. We encourage our young people to be independent and reach their full potential. Playschemes such as ours enable young people of differing abilities to play adventurously, creatively and imaginatively.