Describe your project
We are a committee of 3 parish councillors who took on the task in 2016 of updating the village playground. This was originally opened in 2000 and we have been actively raising funds since that date to purchase new pieces of equipment and to make this playground a place for the whole community to spend time with their families and friends. We have installed picnic benches, disabled equipment and improved the entrances to the park to make it easier for the disabled members of our community and parents and carers with pushchairs to access the park. One of the new projects which the children asked for was a skate park. We initially installed two ramps but they would now really like a smaller rollover ramp which can be used more by the younger children on their scooters and skate boards.
How will your project benefit your local community?
Visitors to the park have quadrupled since we started our project. We deliberately did this on a phased approach and as we raised some funds we purchased a piece of equipment, then raised some more and bought something else. This kept the momentum going and added interest and fun to the project. We deliberately set out to achieve a park which the children of today wanted by carrying out numerous surveys amongst the school children, playgroup children and via our website and facebook pages, with circulars handed out at the village shop and at our regular parish council meetings. This was our ambition to give those children who had completed the initial surveys their park not raise funds over a long period of time and then suddenly they had a new park but those initial children had now moved on in their lives. We aimed to cater for all aged children and this was done by installing a variety of equipment. We have children from as far away as Norwich, Yarmouth, Lowestoft & Diss come to our park because it is one of the best in the area. Children come to learn to cycle on the path which goes around the perimeter of the park. We have adults who come to use the exercise equipment. We always wanted it to be a park for all in the community, people who just want to sit and have a picnic and watch the children play, whether they have children of their own or not.
Please give details of any support you have from your local community
We have the full support of the Parish Council and the local community. The two local charities in the villages of Ellingham and Kirby Cane have kindly donated funds to help us purchase picnic benches and improve the safety and access to the park. The true measure of support however comes from the members of the community who use the park, in their hundreds, almost every day of the year, all weathers, just having fun and enjoying the outdoors.
How many people will benefit from your project?
We have almost 2000 people in our two villages. The village school opposite the park has 103 children on roll and most of these use the park after school every day, along with their siblings. Many more come from the surrounding villages and towns at the weekends and holidays. We also have disabled groups from local schools who have trips out of school to picnic and play, using the disabled swings, bongo drums and open space to play ball games.
Tell us what you intend to spend the money on.
We would like to install a rollover ramp for the younger children to play on the skate park with their scooters and skateboards. This will involve extending the tarmac area and purchasing the rollover ramp.
When was your project founded?
Our project was started in Autumn 2016 and as a committee we have worked tirelessly since then to fulfil our dream of having the best park in the area.