The results of a long-awaited £125,000 project to improve a popular children’s play park in Hawkesbury Upton have been officially unveiled.
Parish Councillor Sue Hope officially opened the new park at Hawkesbury Hospital Hall Playground on 23 February 2020, where she was joined by over 100 village residents and representatives from companies that provided grants towards the project.
Hawkesbury at Play, the fundraising group behind the redevelopment, worked with village youngsters to design the new-look park. Alex (aged 10) and Lucy (aged 7), who won a design competition when Hawkesbury at Play first launched its fundraising campaign for the new park, were also given the honour of being the first children to use the brand new zipwire.
Other features of the new play park include a huge junior multiplay unit, an inclusive roundabout, trampoline, swings and monkey bars. Inclusive and accessible play equipment has been incorporated within the design to provide facilities for children with special needs.
Karen Bexter, Chairperson of Hawkesbury at Play, said: “The project has delivered a bright, fun, safe and accessible park that has something to offer children of all ages and abilities. It will be somewhere for preschool children to develop their fine motor skills, older children to socialise and develop friendships, and somewhere that their parents and carers can meet.
“The existing play equipment on the site was very limited and had deteriorated significantly since it was installed 20 years ago. The new equipment will certainly spark imaginations, feed sensory experiences and help children to socialise and exercise through play.”
The play park is used by more than 200 toddlers, pre-schoolers and school children, as well as children from Hawkesbury Upton and the surrounding villages who don’t have access to alternative outdoor play facilities.
Karen continued: “We are very grateful to have received generous support and significant grants from a number of organisations including Enovert Community Trust and Ibstock Enovert Trust, as well as the Smurfitt Kappa Foundation, the European Union’s LEADER programme and Hawkesbury Parish Council.”
Angela Haymonds, Trust Secretary of Enovert Community Trust and Ibstock Enovert Trust which provided grants totalling £45,000, said: "The Trustees were delighted to offer these grants to renovate the playing area at Hawkesbury Hospital Hall, which provides a vital and much-used resource for local children and their families.”