Clarence Play gathering support to replace 'well-used' playground equipment in St Albans
PUBLISHED: 12:53 30 January 2020 | UPDATED: 12:59 30 January 2020
A campaign raising money to renovate a dilapidated children's playground in Clarence Park has now become a charity.
Clarence Play was formed by local parents and councillors around a year ago as a community group, and has since become a charity working to create an 'inclusive and exciting' play area.
Caroline Brooke, a former district councillor and member of the group, said: "The playground in Clarence Park is about 30 years old and falling to pieces. It's generally believed to be past its sell-by date.
"It's much-loved and very well-used, and serves a lot of children who have grown up in flats and don't have gardens."
The group held a consultation last summer and drew up a design brief, which they then sent out to a playground company.
As part of their design, they wanted to incorporate the existing sandpit, which is very popular, as well as making the playground more accessible for children with disabilities and improving the surfacing.
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Six designs were provided, and Clarence Play showcased them at Clarence Park cricket pavilion before Christmas, so playground users could view the plans.
A statement on the group's fundraising page said: "Clarence playground is much loved by so many children and adults alike.
"Set in the beautiful grounds of Clarence Park, it's used throughout the year, come rain or shine, giving the children of St. Albans hours of fun - whether building sandcastles in the sandpit, honing their skills on the monkey bars or travelling somewhere wonderful on the horse and cart."
The group plans to launch their final designs online over the next few weeks, and have a year of fundraising events planned. These include a scavenger hunt as part of the St Albans Sustainability Festival in May, and a sponsored fun run around the park for children.
They are also keen to make links with local businesses and apply for community grants. The district council has already offered funding for the renovations, and the group aims to raise an additional £70,000 to reach an overall goal of £220,000.
To donate to the fundraising campaign, go to https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/clarenceplay
You can also donate by texting 'Clarence 5' or Clarence 10' (to donate £5 or £10) to 70085.