St Albans 12-year-old wins campaign for new playground in Colney Heath

Parish councillors Derrick Crump and Cecilia Hathaway with Indiana May Evans at the opening of Roest

Parish councillors Derrick Crump and Cecilia Hathaway with Indiana May Evans at the opening of Roestock Park. Picture: Jane Evans - Credit: Archant

A schoolgirl has successfully lobbied and fundraised for new playground equipment in Colney Heath.

In September 2017, then 11-year-old Indiana May Evans set her mind to improving the facilities at Roestock Park, setting the wheels in motion by sending a strongly worded letter to Colney Heath Parish Council (CHPC).

She described the play area as disgusting, rusty, boring, uncared for and overgrown, calling youngsters living in the village the “forgotten children”.

Following her plea, the project was allocated £20,000 from Tarmac and £4,000 from CHPC - raised from The Grange development S106 funds.

The parish council also agreed to match any money Indiana could raise herself and install a piece of equipment of her choosing - she collected £1,000 and picked a Supernova ring.

Work on the Multi Use Games Area began in June this year and was finished in October. Indiana was invited to the official opening ceremony this December.

Parish councillors Derrick Crump and Cecilia Hathaway also attended the launch.

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Indiana said: “I feel very proud of myself but I am still going to work on it because in the summer when I went to the park, lots of people were asking me to get a zipline.

“It will be a challenge but I am still passionate about it.”

She would like to be a politician when she is older, having attended the Conservative Party Conference in October: “It was really great, really interesting to see what was going on.”

Indiana encouraged her peers to get involved, even if they are unsure, because it “is very important that strong minded people can work in politics”.

The now 12-year-old’s mum, Jane Evans, said: “I feel proud of Indiana because so many people see problems and just moan and complain and expect others to do something about it - but she saw the problem and tried to sort a solution, and I think that is really mature of her.

“I imagine they were wondering what to do with it [the park], it was on their radar, and Indiana moved the hands a bit.”

Jane said children now have somewhere to “play football, go on their bikes, and congregate safely”.

CHPC thanked Indiana, Tarmac, and Groundwork Hertfordshire, who project managed the build.