Churchill & Blakedown Sports Centre
Children's Playground Sub-Comittee



FRIENDS OF BLAKEDOWN PLAYGROUND
 
The project to raise funds for a new playground for Blakedown, and the eventual commissioning and building has taken 4 long years.  We hope you will agree the result has been a big success.  The five members of the Playground Committee are now ready to move on, and would like to hand over the reins to a new set of volunteers.
 
We're leaving things in a good position. There is still some money in the playground repair account.  In other words, a new team would be stepping in and taking over a going concern. There have been suggestions that some further improvements that could be made, eg, better provision for the very young.
 
As a minimum, we would suggest a committee of three (chair, treasurer and secretary), but a group of five or so is probably more sociable.  We met about once a month for a couple of hours. 
 
Finally we'd like to thank everyone who supported the project.  If nobody does come forward to take over the playground committee we plan to transfer the residue of our funds to the sports committee and formally close the Friends of Blakedown Playground with effect from 1 September 2009.  If you would like to know more please contact any of the current committee for details.
 
For further information please contact Jim Brown on 700994


"Swinging Start to 2008"
 


Friends of Blakedown Playground are happy and excited to announce that the long awaited playground refurbishment will commence in the week starting 14 January 2008.  We will unfortunately lose the use of the playground for up to 4 weeks.  There will also be a 'bedding in' period when the playground might seem a little bleak as the grass grows back and the safety surfaces establish themselves.  BUT we will have a fantastic new facility which should hopefully last for another 30 years.  Full details can be viewed in the attached document. 

If you have any questions or concerns either ahead or during the work please contact the Friends of Baledown Playground on 700994


(8th August 2007)
Summer update from the Friends of Blakedown Playground

Following the consultation with residents and children that took place in the Spring, plans for the redevelopment of the playground have been costed and agreed with SMP, the company that will carry out the work.

Planning permission is being sought from the local authority, and providing that this is granted, work should start on the transformation of the playground in late September or early October.

There'll be some extremely exciting brand new additions to the playground, including an Alien (a giant multi-purpose climbing tower with slide), a rotating cone climber, a new see-saw, a Whizzer and an agility trail for younger children. The existing swings will stay, but will get a thorough overhaul and face-lift.

When work begins, the playground will have to be closed to the public, as it will become a building site with all the inherent dangers. Security fencing will go up, along with warning notices. It may take up to four weeks until the work is completed. The Friends of Blakedown Playground apologise for the inconvenience, but would like to assure everyone that it will be worth the wait.

Further information from Jim Brown 700994, Tricia Penny 701208, Stuart Danks 700874 or Vince James 700540


(24th April 2007)
Update from the Friends of Blakedown Playground
 
Thanks to the continued hard work of the fundraising committee we are now two thirds of the way to being able to pay for a complete refurbishment of the children's playground at Blakedown Sports Field.
 
 
Ideally we would like to be able to do the full replacement programme in one fell swoop, but for this to happen we would have to secure the remaining one third of the total budget.  We are working hard to achieve this, but we could instead decide to forge ahead with a partial refurbishment programme.  We hope to be able to make a start to the works in the late Spring.
 
Surprisingly we may need planning permission, even though we are simply going to be replacing existing equipment.  If this is the case, there could be a delay in starting the refurbishment programme.
 
We are very grateful to the pupils of Blakedown CE Primary School and the Blakedown Cubs who helped with a consultation exercise a few months ago. 
 
If you would like to know more about our plans, please contact Jim Brown on 01562 700994, email jamesbrown131@hotmail.com  



VILLAGERS UP IN ARMS OVER LOCAL PLAYGROUND
 
Residents of Blakedown near Kidderminster took up arms last weekend (Sat 6 May) but happily their weapons were of a constructive nature.  Equipped with paintbrushes, strimmers and spades a group of volunteers carried out a spring spruce-up at the village's playground.
 
One of the helpers was Judy Stokes whose two young children use the playground regularly.  She said,
 
'This play area is so important to Blakedown's children, and parents like me rely on it.  I was happy to do my bit today, and it's very satisfying when you see what a difference a lick of paint can make.'
 
The event organisers were delighted with the hands-on response from mums, dads and grandparents.  Equipment and materials were donated by B&Q.
 
Eighteen months ago, the playground was threatened with closure, after a report by RoSPA deemed parts of it unsafe.  The Friends of Blakedown Playground group was formed, and thanks to its efforts the facility was repaired and updated.  But the spring makeover is only part of a much bigger campaign to improve the playground, says organiser Vince James.
 
'This area and equipment are nearing the end of their useful life.  Kids have been jumping, bashing and generally pushing it to its limits for more than 30 years.  So the makeover is a bit like sticking a plaster over it, and realistically, we need to do a proper refurbishment.'
 
The Friends of Blakedown Playground group has already been successful in securing some grant funding, and has received many donations from residents and local businesses.  The group is continuing to work hard to raise the money it needs, and is looking at several possible refurbishment schemes. 
 
 
If you have any fundraising ideas please contact Russ Welbourn on : 01562 700623
If you can help in any other way please contact Jim Brown on: 01562 700994
 
Thank you
Churchill & Blakedown Sports Committee

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