Describe your project
A team of 5 local enthusiastic mums have set up this project to redevelop and extend the small and outdated Manton village playground which is a rural village in Witshire. We aim to extend the current play area and replace the old equipment built in 2002 with new, exciting play structures made from natural materials that complement the surroundings. We will target our play equipment to children between the ages of 2-11 thus increasing the scope from what is currently available. We also look to provide sports and fitness equipment for older children, teenagers and adults as well as picnic benches and seating with the aim of providing a space that is accessible to and utilised by, everyone in the local community.
How will your project benefit your local community?
In an ever increasing world of technology we believe that encouraging children to play outdoors and providing them with a safe space to stimulate imaginative play can provide huge benefits for their physical and mental development. Communities are becoming increasingly isolated with people choosing to stay within their homes rather than meet in social spaces and children are spending increasing times on screens rather than playing outdoors. Post natal depression is common in rural areas and creating a space where mothers can congregate and meet other parents can also help provide a life line for people struggling at this challenging time. The recreation ground in Manton is in the heart of an active community with young families. Both the local primary school and pre school lack outdoor space and the school has recently had their play equipment removed due to safety concerns leaving the children without access to age appropriate play equipment. The collaborative manner in which we are designing, developing and fundraising for this project has already been instrumental in bringing this community together but we feel, the space when developed will provide a community hub for the village where people can meet, play and exercise together.
Please give details of any support you have from your local community
We feel it is paramount that this is a village initiative and we wanted to reach out to as many people as possible when creating a design and plan for the space. To this end we initially held a village consultation and question and answer session at the Manton Residents Association annual general meeting. The concept was received very positively and we had valuable input from local villagers. We followed this up by a questionnaire sent by email to all members of the village and all parents of the school and preschool asking their opinions on both need for and what should be included in this community development. Aware that our previous consultations had predominantly involved the adults in the community we arranged a focus group for children and young people in the village. This was well attended with 18 children present aged 2 -17. In all consultations we received an overwhelmingly positive response and the children were particularly passionate about creating an inspiring place for them to play and exercise. We have already raised money through village and community donations as well as a school cake sale and a local school boy has raised money through running a triathlon.
How big is your community? And how many people will benefit from your project?
Number of projected users per annum once the project has been completed 2000 Number of current footfall using the site (NB footfall counts for every visit, eg one person visiting the facility 10 times in the year counts as 10 footfall) 1900 Number of predicted footfall after the project has been completed 8000 Number of school visits forecasted to visit the project site per annum on completion 306
Tell us what you intend to spend the money on.
We have received 3 different quotations to date for this project. if this funding was secured it would ensure that we could include the large wooden play structure which so many of the children have asked for. They described the current play equipment “as boring and uninspiring” and asked for a structure in which they could use their own imagination as inspiration. This play structure has been quoted as costing £8994 and resembles a fort including 2 towers, a bridge as well as a slide and fireman's pole. We hope to increase the age range from the current playground with the addition of this structure to cater for children up to the age of 12 years. The local primary school plan to use this play area during the school day as the school's play equipment has recently been closed due to health and safety concerns. We aim to create this structure in keeping with the natural environment.
When and why was your project founded?
The Manton Community Outdoors project was founded in 2017 by 3 local mums with the support of Manton Residents Association.