Joy as ‘exciting’ new play area is unveiled
PUBLISHED: 16:26 07 September 2020 | UPDATED: 16:35 07 September 2020
Excited children were given an extra special treat as they returned to nursery school.
A brand new play area that helps to teach children key skills has been unveiled after the garden and outdoor area at the YMCA Childcare St. Margaret’s Road early years setting in Lowestoft had been transformed.
Dreams have become reality in recent weeks, after the outdoor space was revamped in times for the children’s return thanks to the kind-hearted support of companies Apec Groundworks Ltd, Taydal Surfacing and Cullum Line.
The new play area and roadway – which features road markings, raised flower beds, a zebra crossing and even a pretend car wash – is to be used to teach the youngsters key social interaction skills.
Kim Streater, childcare manager at the facility, said: “We are delighted to open our brand new play area which will give our children here a safe and secure place to play.
“This space will be much needed for our children, following many months away from the setting, and will really support their mental and physical wellbeing.
“At all YMCA Childcare settings we believe that children deserve the best possible start to their education.
“Families now have access to a play area filled with activities that is carefully designed to engage and develop children and support their learning.
“A massive thank you to Apec Groundworks Ltd, Taydal Surfacing and Cullum Line for volunteering their time for free and putting in many hours of hard work which the children will forever be grateful for.”
The project was started by Gemma Lawn, an early years educator and events co-ordinator at the facility, who first pitched the idea in 2019.
She said: “For a while I have been wanting to develop the garden area and then an idea popped into my head which I doodle sketched onto a piece of paper and went to Kim and said I would like to do this in the garden.
“It is such a lovely big space here and offers so many opportunities.
“Today is the first day back at school for our two to five-year-olds, so this will be the first time that they have been able to use the facility and they are really excited.
“The learning opportunities, the fun and the freedom that the children are going to get from this facility will be endless.”
After the ribbon was cut to officially open the area, YMCA Childcare St. Margaret’s Road YMCA Trinity Group CEO Jonathan Martin thanked the contractors who helped with the project.
He said: “Communities are made by people like you who give up their time and resources to make such a difference and you should be really proud to be part of this establishment.
“You will always have a special place in our hearts.”
Companies such as Mark Botwright Tree Services, Lound Garden Centre and AW Removals Lowestoft also helped on the project, with support ranging from donating bark, clearing the garden waste and supplying and planting the sensory area.
Representatives from Apec Groundworks Ltd and Taydal Surfacing attended the opening event as the new facility was formally unveiled.
Jason Jeffery, managing director at Apec Groundworks Ltd, said: “When Kim made contact with me, I knew straight away that I wanted to get involved with the project.
“I grew up in Lowestoft and really felt I could give something back to the children of the town.
“I am pleased that I was able to help realise the vision of Kim, Gemma and Beth and I am excited to be able to see the children use the new area for the first time.”
Kim Streater said: “Gemma did a fantastic job designing the area, working closely with the contractors and guiding the project to completion.
“Everyone is so thankful for her efforts.”
Gemma Lawn added: “We are still developing it, with a water wall still to be added and other bits and pieces that we would like to do.
“The toy car wash is still a work in progress and will also be added to.
“I don’t think it is ever going to stop and will continue to grow.”
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