Outdoor gym the result of four years of determined fundraising
06:30 24 March 2014
Archant © 2014
A community near Fakenham has celebrated the opening of a new outdoor gym after four years of determined fundraising.
North Norfolk District Council (NNDC) leader Tom FitzPatrick joined villagers in Melton Constable on Saturday at an official opening ceremony to mark the unveiling of the £10,000 facilities on the village playing field, near Gordon Road.
The project was led by Melton Constable Community Association which raised the funds needed for the parish council to buy four pieces of outdoor gym equipment for the use of people aged 12 and above.
It is sited within view of the play area used by younger children, and more developments could follow.
Imogen Bruce, chairman of Melton Constable Community Association, said: “Facilities like this which are free and local are so important in rural areas where people may not have a lot of money to join gyms or drive to swimming pools.
“It will be a lifeline for older people recovering from surgery and its location means that parents and carers can use it while watching their children in the play area.
“People have done all sorts of things to raise the money, which is fantastic.”
Community association member Allyson Crawford said: “I’ve never seen the playing field so busy since the outdoor gym was opened and it’s really helped to bring the community together.
“We love living in Melton Constable and we want everyone to enjoy the village.”
The outdoor gym was identified as a priority by village residents who completed a questionnaire sent out by the parish council five years ago and is part of a wider parish council project to improve and possibly expand the play area.
Parish council chairman Frank Bruce said: “It is brilliant to see this new facility in the village and I’m looking forward to further developments coming to fruition.”
The gym has been funded by a £5,000 grant from NNDC’s Big Society Fund, £1,500 from Tesco in Sheringham, £500 from Active Norfolk and £500 from Skipton Building Society.
Donations of £100 and over also came from Preva Prudence, Swanton Care Centre, the Stody Estate, Paul Fisher and Burgh Parva residents.
Fundraising events organised by Melton Constable Community Association included a sponsored dog walk, two years of village yard sales, a music evening, two quizzes, a rounders match and Christmas carol singing.
Mr FitzPatrick said: “We are delighted to have contributed £5,000 towards this.
“This has been a great community-led project which fits in perfectly with our localism agenda and it’s a really great facility.”
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