Mother’s playground idea coming to fruition in North Walsham

Left to right: Julie Potter with son Craig Potter at the ground breaking ceremony. Picture: Nick Cla

Left to right: Julie Potter with son Craig Potter at the ground breaking ceremony. Picture: Nick Clancy. - Credit: Archant

It started off as just a young mother's hopeful suggestion, and now it's coming to fruition.

Design for Woodville Park playground: Picture: Matt Smith

Design for Woodville Park playground: Picture: Matt Smith - Credit: Archant

A ground breaking ceremony was held at Woodville Park, off Hadfield Road, in North Walsham on Thursday, April 13 to kick-start the final stage of the project to build a new, fully Disability Discrimination Act-compliant playground.

The original idea came from wheelchair-bound Julie Potter, who asked the town council to do something at the comparatively neglected park.

Her suggestion to make it more disability-friendly has since grown into a much larger vision of all the town's open spaces with the involvement of Matt Smith, chairman of the charity North Walsham Play.

The charity has raised the £41,000 needed to bring this first project to life, and work is now due to start around April 25 with a handover of the finished playground expected around May 15.


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Mr Smith wants the town's parks and open spaces to offer the most varied, imaginative, high-quality range of equipment possible.

Most of the equipment in the parks had either been installed many years ago, or was non-existent, he said.

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He added: 'We have been looking at all the parks in the town, and this is the first of many to get improvements. It will take about two weeks to build the playground, which will have a 18m diameter, and should be up and running by the middle of May.'

North Walsham Play is already looking at future projects, with fundraising already started for a complete transformation of the young children's playground at the War Memorial Park.

Mrs Potter, whose children Craig, three, and Leyla, five, already use the park, said: 'I wanted to see something developed in the area where children and parents could go, and with disabled equipment. It started off as a hope, a suggestion, and now I cannot wait for it to be built.'

The ground breaking ceremony was also attended by town mayor Barry Hester, who thanked Mr Smith for raising the money,

Nick Clancy, town council clerk, said: 'This has been a long time coming, and a pretty big step in terms of the council being able to show off a real, positive outcome.'

Is your community involved in a project? Email david.bale2@archant.co.uk

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