Halesworth playground fundraising campaign success

A grandparents' and parents' group in Halesworth are celebrating after getting a �5,000 grant toward

A grandparents' and parents' group in Halesworth are celebrating after getting a �5,000 grant towards a playground restoration. - Credit: Sarah Lucy brown

A 12-month fundraising mission came to a close last night as enough money was raised to transform the children’s playground in Halesworth Town Park.

It followed a clairvoyance night with Ryan Gooding which raised the final £1,000 of the total £42,600 needed to completely revamp existing play equipment at the park, which has not been updated for 20 years.

The victory was down to the efforts of the Grandparents and Parents Play Association (GAPPA), formed in September last year after Halesworth grandmother Jane Kircher had to travel to neighbouring Westleton for her grandchildren to play.

Ms Kircher, GAPPA chairman, said: “We have made it. It feels amazing, it’s quite an achievement.

“Last August we all went to the park. It was a beautiful day but it was absolutely packed. There was only five bits of equipment and it was impossible for them to have a go.

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“We are a small town but we have got a lot of children. We have to go over to Westleton which is smaller than us, but they have amazing facilities.

“The support we got was amazing.”

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The new equipment, which includes a wheelchair-accessible roundabout, a basket swing and two units comprising slides and climbing equipment, is being ordered this week, and the group hopes to have the new play area fully operational in time for Easter.

Grants for the project were provided by Halesworth Town Council, Co-op community Fund, One Foundation and Flagship, with financial support also pledged by a number of local businesses. Adnams also purchased a springer for the park, at a cost of £848.

The remainder of the funds were raised by GAPPA through a series of fundraising events.

“I’m going through cancer at the moment and it has been my saviour,” said Ms Kircher. “Psychologically it has been an amazing project for me. The GAPPA crew have been such a support.

“Halesworth is a lovely market town. If we can keep the youngsters in town it keeps the town young and vibrant.”

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