Daventry district village renews its playground

The official opening of the new park in Old
The official opening of the new park in Old

After several years of fundraising by four determined mums, £15,000 has been raised to renew the village playground in Old.

Following four years of hard work, the mothers hit their target through a combination of local fundraising events and small grant schemes, including the Co-operative Community Fund, Waitrose Community Fund, and The Maud Elkington Charitable Trust.

From left, distrct Cllr Ann Carter, Old Parish Council chairman Cllr Richard Baldwin, and Cllr Deanna Eddon, chairman of Daventry District Council.

From left, distrct Cllr Ann Carter, Old Parish Council chairman Cllr Richard Baldwin, and Cllr Deanna Eddon, chairman of Daventry District Council.

Fundraising started in 2011, when the parish council, supported by Cllr Ann Carter, raised funds to buy the land from Daventry District Council.

Still a daunting £10,000 short of their initial target, the mums applied to the Biffa Award.

Nicola Beers, chairman of the Old Playground Association, said: “We were absolutely delighted when we heard earlier this year that our application had been successful, and that Biffa had awarded us the full amount.

“The playground is the only space for children to play in the village, and this refurbishment will allow it to continue to be enjoyed by the next generation of children.”

Local charity, the Old Parish Charities Trust, then offered a further £5,000 to enable benches and the roundabout to be replaced, works which weren’t included in the original budget.

“We now have a fantastic modern playground facility which our children can’t wait to enjoy”, said Victoria Campion, mother of three and treasurer of the Old Playground Association, “the support from the grant bodies, as well as the village, has been fantastic”.

Gillian French, from Biffa Award, said “We are really pleased to have supported such a great project, which is an excellent example of how the Landfill Communities Fund can be used to create recreational spaces.”

The previous playground equipment was up to 50 years old and every few years, another piece would fail its annual inspection and be removed. By the time the refurbishment commenced there was only four pieces of equipment left.