Residents’ joy at playground funding success
Published by Hywel Lloyd for Merlin Housing Society in Housing and also in Communities
Children and members of the View Point Residents Group celebrate the news that their bid for Lottery funding to renovate their play area has been successful.
A Filton residents group is celebrating after securing nearly £50,000 in Lottery funding for a new play area.
The Viewpoint Action Group, which is made up of residents from four blocks of flats owned by Merlin Housing Society, has received £49,999 from the Big Lottery Fund’s Community Spaces programme. Together with £35,000 of funding from Merlin, it means the residents now have the funds to build a new play area.
The group has been trying to secure funding to build a new play park for the past two years, after the existing one was closed for health and safety reasons by South Gloucestershire Council. Since then the area has been fenced off, leaving children from the flats with nowhere to play.
But all that is about to change, much to the delight of Donna Burgess, chairwoman of the Viewpoint Action Group said: “It’s so exciting. It has taken us two years to get here so we’re really happy to have the money.
“We’re hoping it will all be finished in June. It’ll make a huge difference. The play area was built in the early 1990s and was really looked after by the residents – there was never any vandalism or graffiti. The kids loved it and took a great pride in it as it’s the only space they’ve got really. It’ll be great to have it open again.”
Residents and children have been involved in the design of the new park, which includes separate areas for children of different ages. There will be a zip wire for older children, while a more traditional climbing frame will be installed for younger ones.
The group also plan to run some vocational workshops for some of the older children, to give them the chance to learn new skills and make some of the equipment themselves.
Community Investment Officer Louisa Massey who helped the group put their application together, said: “This is great news for the residents. They’ve worked so hard over the past few years to find the money for this project; their dedication has been really inspiring.
“Facilities like this playground are vital for children and we’re really pleased to be working with the residents to make their plans a reality.”