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Wanstead park mums call in crowd for tired playground

PUBLISHED: 09:00 01 February 2015

From left, secretary Nicola Calabrese, 49, chairwoman Sarah Boud, 39, and trustee Danielle Palmer, 34. Picture: Wanstead Playground Association

From left, secretary Nicola Calabrese, 49, chairwoman Sarah Boud, 39, and trustee Danielle Palmer, 34. Picture: Wanstead Playground Association

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A group of mums is launching a crowdfunding campaign to modernise a children’s play park.

The playground on Christ Church Green, High Street, Wanstead. Picture: Wanstead Playground Association/Nick PandevThe playground on Christ Church Green, High Street, Wanstead. Picture: Wanstead Playground Association/Nick Pandev

After being inspired by Wanstead’s crowdfunded Christmas tree, the Wanstead Playground Association was created, to breathe new life into the worse-for-wear playground in Christ Church Green, High Street, Wanstead.

The group, which is planning to install a surf slide, a sit-in-pig springy and more, has taken the rebuild into its own hands after Redbridge Council was not able to fund it, according the mums.

However, the group say they have the full support of the council after Vision Redbridge Culture and Leisure, which manages the borough’s leisure facilities, agreed to maintain any new equipment.

Group secretary Nicola Calabrese, 49, from Wanstead, said: “It’s just very old and tired – there’s equipment from the 1980s still in use. Lots of the equipment is rotting away.

The playground on Christ Church Green, High Street, Wanstead. Picture: Wanstead Playground Association/Nick PandevThe playground on Christ Church Green, High Street, Wanstead. Picture: Wanstead Playground Association/Nick Pandev

“We just thought there’s a lot more we could do with it and we wanted to include something for babies and children with special needs too.”

The group has set its initial crowdfunding target at £14,000, which could pay for benches, a picnic table and a set of swings.

“The crowdfunding is just one strand of our fundraising,” said Nicola, who is hoping to bag a £20,000 grant from Boris Johnson’s High Street fund. The group wants to ultimately raise £120,000 for a complete overhaul of the park.

Wanstead’s Little Bears and Treehouse nurseries, The Wanstead Society and the Wanstead Park Pram Group have all already pledged money towards the project.

The playground on Christ Church Green, High Street, Wanstead. Picture: Wanstead Playground Association/Nick PandevThe playground on Christ Church Green, High Street, Wanstead. Picture: Wanstead Playground Association/Nick Pandev

Nicola said: “There’s huge council budget cuts, but Vision has said it will project manage it if we raise the money, which is brilliant.”

The group plans to secure planning permission before working with parents on the new design.

The fundraiser said: “There’s a great community spirit here and the playground’s a really important part of Wanstead.”

Visit wansteadplayground.co.uk


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