£10k plea for safer playground

COMMUNITY-spirited residents are £10,000 short of rebuilding a dream – a new playground where both parents and children feel safe.Stoke community group needs the money to rebuild its grimy, graffiti-covered playground after securing £30,000 through grant aid.

COMMUNITY-spirited residents are £10,000 short of rebuilding a dream – a new playground where both parents and children feel safe.

Stoke community group needs the money to rebuild its grimy, graffiti-covered playground after securing £30,000 through grant aid.

Community worker Janice Cole said the final design would be decided by the families who desperately need the new facilities.

She said: "The really exciting thing about this project is the fact that the community will be so involved in deciding what they want from it."


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Ms Cole said Government funding had guaranteed two years of investment in Stoke through the Community Chest scheme.

The funding runs out in March, but she is determined the new playground will act as a legacy of their work.

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She said: "We're applying for money, because two years really isn't enough. But if it does end in March we want to have left a play area behind."

Officials from Ipswich Borough Council landscape design department went to cast their expert eyes over the site on Saturday.

Their eventual design could draw on projects carried out by pupils at Stoke's Hillside Primary School.

Ms Cole said the project started when she was approached by a parent at Easter who complained about the state of the play area.

Following the initial complaint, a newsletter was sent round, which was then followed by a petition.

Now £30,000 is already in place thanks to government and IBC cash, but Ms Cole is determined the rest of the money should be in place for the people of Stoke.

She said: "At the moment, the play area is not somewhere parents can feel safe sending their children.

"There is a feeling that some people will accept things that aren't very good, but this is all about showing that's not the way it is."

If you can help, contact Janice Cole at Stoke community centre, in Austin Street, Ipswich on 01473 710519. She is organising a meeting there on November 26. Time to be confirmed.

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