The park has been in existence for a long time with the current equipment being in situ for the past 30 years (an estimate based on recounts from local residents). The soft pour safety surface was added in the early nineties when safety surfaces became a legal requirement.
Over the past number of years the park has been neglected and we are now faced with the playground that is in radical need of overhaul. The equipment is old and outdated as well as very basic. There are a number of children on the estate that have additional physical needs – this equipment just isn’t suitable for them.
There are two phases of the development;
- Working with the equipment already in place – restoring the paintwork, having unsafe holes in the metal work welded etc. It is hoped that this will mean that cut hands as a result of the peeling paintwork will be a thing of the past. We are having a work party day on the 20th of June. I’ve organised this in partnership with St Mary’s Centre, The Orchard SureStart Children’s Centre, Accent Peerless Housing Association and of course our amazing community. Waitrose are also sponsoring a BBQ for the event and sending a team of volunteers. While SHBC have been able to provide us with primer, paint and brushes this is a community led initiative. Volunteers have been working together over the past couple of weeks to get this primer applied in advance and we hope that the day on the 20th will be a day of community celebration – coming together for the children of the James Road estate. This is a short term solution but ultimately bigger changes need to be made.
- Phase 2 will involve fundraising incredibly hard to secure the funds for new playground equipment. This is likely to cost around £90k. Provisional plans have been drawn up and fundraising from grant sources is due to commence in the next few weeks. It could take some time raise this money but I’m determined we’ll get there!