The New Playground
by Wickhambrook Parish Clerk
Saturday’s Grand Opening of the new playground was a big success. Delighted to see so many families at the opening and as soon as the gates were opened, all the children rushed through to try out the pieces of play equipment which excited them most.
Three years ago the Parish Council was faced with the very real prospect of having an empty playground if the old equipment, none of which complied to current safety standards, failed its annual inspection. The decision was made to replace old for new, an exciting design was agreed, and the task of raising the funds required commenced. Support for the project by the local community has been fantastic – not just with donations and fund-raising events, but with continued optimism and enthusiasm that the money would be raised.
A substantial amount of the total required has been obtained through the receipt of grant funding, a number of these grants being aimed at encouraging and supporting sport and recreational activities for children. This, alone, was a great achievement as Wickhambrook had to compete against much larger villages for the amounts which were available.
The decision to order the equipment was made at the end of January even though the Parish Council had not achieved its target as, not only would a lot of the grant funding be withdrawn if not used by the end of April, but a proposed price increase by the manufacturers would have pushed the project beyond our grasp. By removing the old equipment and preparing the site ourselves and assisting in the landscaping works after the new equipment had been installed, a big enough saving was made to keep the cost within our budget.
The Parish Council would like to give their thanks to everyone who has contributed to the project: the children who helped to chose the equipment, local businesses and individuals who sent donations, all those who ran fund-raising events, the grant-funders, those who gave their time and equipment in removing the old equipment, clearing the site and making good afterwards, the MSC for the use of the carpark and the WI for access to the playground by the contractors and all the village organisations who have supported the project.
THANK YOU ALL.