‘Fantastic community project’ secured £30k to refurbish playground

The ribbon cutting to mark the opening of the refurbished play equipment at Stratford St Andrew's Ri

The ribbon cutting to mark the opening of the refurbished play equipment at Stratford St Andrew's Riverside Centre Picture: DAVID CHIDLOW - Credit: David Chidlow

A Suffolk village has unveiled its newly refurbished children’s playground following a “fantastic community project” to raise more than £30,000.

Around 30 children joined dignitaries and project leaders on Thursday to enjoy their first play on the new equipment at the Riverside Centre in Stratford St Andrew.

Debbi Tayler, secretary for the Riverside Centre Social Club Committee, which raised much of the funding for the project said the children “absolutely loved” their new playground – as well as the free cake on offer.

“The Riverside Centre is an essential facility for the people of Stratford St Andrew and Farnham,” she added.

“We have a lot more children living in the villages than we have had in many years and because of where we’re situated we’re a real hub for many of the surrounding villages too.”

An aerial shot of the newly refurbished play area at the Riverside Centre in Stratford St Andrew Pic

An aerial shot of the newly refurbished play area at the Riverside Centre in Stratford St Andrew Picture: DAVID CHIDLOW - Credit: David Chidlow


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Funding for the project has come from donations by Suffolk Coastal district councillor Carole Poulter, who gave the full £6,500 from last year’s locality budget, £1,000 from county councillor Andrew Reid and a further £1,500 from Farnham with Stratford St Andrew Parish Council.

Suffolk Coastal District Council’s Play Space Fund secured a further £6,000 and the Riverside Centre Social Club Committee and Executive Committee paid for the remainder using money raised from quizzes, race nights and other events.

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Mrs Tayler, who is also the clerk for Farnham with Stratford St Andrew Parish Council said: “I think the important thing about all of this is that it has been a really fantastic community project. We’ve pulled together all of this money from various sources and we’re incredibly grateful for all the support from our local councillors and Suffolk Coastal’s Play Space Fund.”

The project, led by Fenland Leisure has seen new pieces of equipment added to the playground, existing items refurbished and soft flooring added to protect the children should they fall.

More than �30,000 has been raised to pay for the refurbishment Picture: DAVID CHIDLOW

More than �30,000 has been raised to pay for the refurbishment Picture: DAVID CHIDLOW - Credit: Archant

Key people involved in project attended Thursday’s ribbon cutting, including Ian Norman, chairman of Farnham with Stratford St Andrew Parish Council, Ian Tayler, chairman of Riverside Social Club Committee, Colin Hedgley, vice chairman of Suffolk Coastal District Council, Carol Poulter, and Maureen Greaves, chairman of Executive Committee Riverside Centre.

The refurbishment was carried out by Fenland Leisure Picture: DAVID CHIDLOW

The refurbishment was carried out by Fenland Leisure Picture: DAVID CHIDLOW - Credit: David Chidlow

Children from Stratford St Andrew, Farnham and the surrounding villages all use the play area Pictur

Children from Stratford St Andrew, Farnham and the surrounding villages all use the play area Picture: DAVID CHIDLOW - Credit: Archant

The children were said to 'absolutely love' the newly refurbished equipment Picture: DAVID CHIDLOW

The children were said to 'absolutely love' the newly refurbished equipment Picture: DAVID CHIDLOW - Credit: Archant

The ribbon cutting to mark the opening of the refurbished play equipment at Stratford St Andrew's Ri

The ribbon cutting to mark the opening of the refurbished play equipment at Stratford St Andrew's Riverside Centre Picture: DAVID CHIDLOW - Credit: David Chidlow

A young child plays on the refurbished play equipment Picture: DAVID CHIDLOW

A young child plays on the refurbished play equipment Picture: DAVID CHIDLOW - Credit: David Chidlow

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