Dream that came into Reality. I’d heard residents say that the park was rubbish and hadn’t been updated for years. Could I work with the local community to bring about some positive change WITH their help and give families in the area an asset they could be proud of?
Just over a two years ago Sandylands Residents Association (which I was apart of) started fund raising for a new improved play park on Sandylands. Within one year the community has come together to reach the staggering total of £140,000!
Residents held a number of fund raising events, which were really well supported and brought in a good amount of money towards the park total. Fund raising events held were diverse within the local community; Bag pack at ASDA, open garden, aerobics night, nearly new sale, sponsored toddle. The Residents Association was really grateful for the community getting behind not only these events but also the whole vision for the play park.
The current play park was in disrepair and equipment is failing, access into the park is very restrictive for anyone who is disabled or parents with buggies. The vision of the park was to have equipment for all ages and all abilities, thus providing equipment for Sandgate School, which lies opposite the park. New equipment provides equipment for toddlers and gym equipment for adults, as well the site being improved overall for access
The major funding boost came unexpectedly, from a national funder. The Association expected to hear if they had been successful in mid August 2015, but a letter arrived by email one Friday evening into my inbox.
“When we heard that we had received the £49,000 boost for our play park, it was a dream come true. It’s thanks to many parents and stakeholders in the community that have really got behind this to make this dream a reality. I’m so delighted that this is going to benefit our children/young people and adults of Sandylands estate”.
Members of the community and of the Residents Association have met various contractors who are bidding for the work on Sandylands. Contractors came from all across the UK to come up with the winning design from the brief they have been given by SLDC, which was a collaborative effort.
Sam Perruzza a local parent who heard about the news on Facebook said; “Well done you’ve all done an amazing job in raising the funds. You should all be so proud of your achievement. I can’t wait for our estate to finally have a park our kids can use”.
It was really important for me for the church to be really behind this and help in any way we could to make this happen. This has been a fantastic example of bringing community together on a project where lots of stakeholders have contributed to shaping this – a ‘dream into reality’.