Community members hope to raise funds for new play equipment

Frances Rayner hopes to raise funds to install new play equipment at the Howdale.

Frances Rayner along with others in the Downham Market community hope to raise funds to install new play equipment at the Howdale. - Credit: Sarah Hussain

Community members in a west Norfolk town are hoping to raise funds to revamp "old and tired" children's play equipment.

Frances Rayner along with others in Downham Market aim to set up a project team to get new play and exercise equipment on The Howdale. 

The organiser of Downham Games said she was approached by Anna Foster of the Swan Youth Project and borough councillor Andy Bullen after people in the community contacted them about the condition of the play area, saying it was "old and in need of a change."

The Howdale in Downham Market

The Howdale in Downham Market. - Credit: Sarah Hussain

She contacted West Norfolk Council about the situation and was told there were no funds available, but that the council will support the community in its efforts to fundraise for new fitness equipment for the area.

Mrs Rayner said: "The Howdale play equipment has hardly changed since I was a child and has served the town and its families well, but it really is time to get something new and use the beautiful Howdale space as an area where families want to come and spend time together and have fun.  

Frances Rayner hopes to raise funds to install new play equipment at the Howdale.

Frances Rayner along with others in the Downham Market community hope to raise funds to install new play equipment at the Howdale. - Credit: Sarah Hussain


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"Downham Market is really lacking in play equipment.  

"Many people tell me that they travel out of the town to other villages who have superb facilities for their young children to play on."

Frances Rayner hopes to raise funds to install new play equipment at the Howdale.

Frances Rayner along with others in the Downham Market community hope to raise funds to install new play equipment at the Howdale. - Credit: Sarah Hussain

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Mrs Rayner, working under the umbrella group of Downham Games, is putting out a call to action to bring together a small group of people who will campaign and fundraise for functional and accessible equipment for all age groups.

She added: "It could really help make a difference to people's health and wellbeing."

Frances Rayner hopes to raise funds to install new play equipment at the Howdale.

Frances Rayner along with others in the Downham Market community hope to raise funds to install new play equipment at the Howdale. - Credit: Sarah Hussain

The Downham Games, has extended its action in the community and has become a registered charity - aiming to be the host of any community action to help raise the profile of health and wellbeing in Downham Market. 

Mrs Rayner and volunteer Julie McGee are putting together an application to the Charity Commission so that the group can apply for grants and any funding that might be available to help kickstart the project.

The Howdale play area in Downham Market.

The Howdale play area in Downham Market. - Credit: Sarah Hussain

West Norfolk Council has been contacted for comment.

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