“NEVER accept anything that isn’t good enough for you and your children”.
Those were the words of mum-of-three Rachael Robinson as she was joined by around 1,000 villagers to celebrate the official opening of the new play area in Grange Park, Burley-in-Wharfedale.
Rachael, who is also a local parish councillor, was the driving force behind a community fundraising campaign to turn the dream of a new, inclusive play area, into reality. Rachael was inspired by her son Hugo who who originally asked in January 2016 for a new playground. Hugo, then aged 3 asked for a new play park which gave Rachael the drive to put it into place. Rachael received over 200 letters of support from the community and discovered there was a family in the village that could not access the playground because one of their children, Enid is a wheelchair user.
Consultation events were carried out at all local schools and nurseries with children given their say in what equipment would be in their playground. Pictures of equipment were sent in and the children placed a sticker on what they would like.
Streetscape were the successful tenderer for the project and in February 2017, set about the task of creating an exciting and inclusive play area.
At the official opening of the play area Rachael thanked everyone who was involved in the project that included Burley-in-Wharfedale Community Trust, the Parish Council, Duncan Ault for counting donations, fellow parish councillor Niccola Swan for providing running totals and Parish Clerk Ian Orton for applying for the funding grants.
Thanks went to WREN, Tesco and to friends of Rachael who twice matched £7,500. “That was the most amazing surprise, you know who you are,” said Rachael who added: “Thanks to all the local businesses who supported us with raffle prizes, sponsorship, tombola prizes, attending events and publicity. Thanks to Stray FM, the Ilkley Gazette, The Guardian and Ilkley Chat for telling our story and celebrating our milestones and success.”
“To our amazing schools and nurseries in our village for letting me bombard you with surveys and star charts so that you could choose the equipment.”
“Thank you fellow residents of Burley in Wharfedale for just being awesome and for coming to events and donating whatever you could, the penny is always as important as the pound – and every donation and raised funding has got us here today.”
“Thank you for liking and sharing the Facebook posts – we’d have never got off the ground. To everyone who has provided their time and energy for free, time is priceless. To my friends – my amazing friends – who listened to every up and every down, cooked my family meals when I cried and thought I couldn’t do it anymore, I am so so lucky to be surrounded by such strong supportive confident incredible women who have literally been my little rocks.”
“And last but not least thank you to my husband and three children – I can’t imagine what I’ve been like to live with. Thanks for bearing with me. I really hope that the children in Burley recognise how important it is to follow your dreams with nothing but passion and that with that, they will always achieve what they want to. Thank you to everyone.”
A fantastic project for Streetscape to be involved with, this new and exciting play area really does offer something for everyone with a wide range of Inclusive Play items fully accessible in all weather!