The Parish Council worked closely with Benjamin’s Smile Charity and Oakhurst Community Primary School who came up with a wish list of items they would like to see. The local school children were asked for feedback during a lesson raising awareness of disabilities and how small adjustments can make a huge difference to those living with disabilities and for their families. The local primary school has also been fundraising towards one of the new pieces of equipment and, with match funding by the Parish Council, is able to fund the double width slide unit.
The first play area to see improvements will be at Luna Close, where residents can expect new and exciting equipment. The chosen equipment is tailored to the varying requirements of their children with the inclusion of a high back swing, double width slide, accessible roundabout, and numerous play panels. Much of the existing equipment at this play area will also receive some cosmetic enhancements.
At Gaynor Close the choice of equipment is like Luna but as the whole play area needed a complete overhaul, play area companies tendering for the work could be really innovative and creative with their proposed designs. Six companies tendered for the prospective work which were carefully scrutinised by the Parish Council and the winning contracts were approved by the Full Council earlier this year.
Benjamin’s Smile Charity was so impressed by the final designs and Rebecca Maddern (Benjamin’s Mother and creator of Benjamin’s Smile Charity) had this to say:
“I am completely overwhelmed, the plans for the play area look amazing. There is such a lovely mixture of different equipment suitable for all ages and abilities. The Council has been able to include so much inclusive equipment at one park it will certainly set the bar for other local councils. I would like to thank Haydon Wick Parish Council for allowing the charity and the local school to join in with this project, we are all very excited to see the plans come into fruition and enjoy the play areas soon”.
The winning play area company was Playdale whose tenders were both innovative and accessible. There were also cost savings to be made because both areas were awarded at the same time and the play company will assist with the future opening events.
Councillor Richard Hailstone, Chairman of the Parks & Open Spaces Committee said
“I am delighted to report that we approved tenders to refurbish the Luna Close playground in Oakhurst and Gaynor Close play area in Abbey meads which will include equipment accessible to children of all abilities”.
Councillor Steve Heyes, Vice Chairman of Parks & Open Spaces Committee said:
“I am really pleased that we have been able to refresh two of our play parks this year. I look forward to seeing Gaynor Close and Luna Close play areas open with their new looks soon. The Council’s focus has been to make sure there is something for everyone – bright colour schemes, some new equipment and equipment that can meet most accessibility requirements.”