A community came together to celebrate the first anniversary of a popular children’s playground,
Sophie’s Play Space at Combe Valley is names in memory of local girl Sophie Spear, who sadly passed away aged five months old.
Members of (BHARA) Bexleigh, Hythe, Abbey Residents Association, who campaigned for the project, celebrated on Sunday February 25 by tying yellow ribbons on the fence surrounding the play space. Yellow is the chosen colour associated with the (BHARA).
The Play Space was first opened on the 25th February 2017 and was attended by over 150 people. It was built in Partnership with Hastings Borough Council and the Resident’s Association.
Secretary of the Association Dee Spears said: “Sophie’s Playspace opened after four and a half years of tireless fund-raising and what seemed insurmountable setbacks.
“The facility has proved extremely popular and has been much used since its opening and being completely fenced, provides a reassuringly safe play area for its users.
“Favourable comments are received all the time from grateful parents/carers who bring their children to play from other areas of the town and beyond.
“It is situated within the Combe Valley Country Park opposite the Wyevale Garden Centre, Lewis Avenue and cost over £71,000.
“BHARA was more than grateful for the support and funding offered towards the project in addition to the hard earned funds it raised through sponsored walks, street parties, tombola’s, lantern processions, scarecrow contests, yellow bag packing days at Tesco Stores Ravenside, not to mention the hours spent on planning, discussions and bidding applications at Resident’s meetings throughout the fund-raising period and beyond.
“Our vision right from the beginning was that the play space be inclusive to children of all abilities.
“Some of the equipment already in situ offers this inclusion but there is still one more piece of equipment that would enhance our vision. This is an Integration Roundabout which would enable wheelchair, and other users, to access this play facility. We therefore have started again to fund-raise for this piece of equipment.
“With Council budgets being continuously compromised, it is sometimes playgrounds that become the victims of the current economical climate and cutbacks, so it is reassuring to know that there are still communities that are prepared to get up and do something to enrich their own neighbourhoods for the good of our future generations.”
Find out more on the group’s Facebook page.
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