New look playpark is officially open

A playground where children are challenged to have adventures has opened after years of community campaigning.

The new play area at Brooke, between Bungay and Norwich, was officially declared open at a ribbon cutting ceremony on Saturday. Youngsters of all ages descended on the playpark, which sits behind Brooke Village Hall on Norwich Road, to swing from monkey bars, slide through tunnels and clamber up climbing frames.

Two and half years ago, with the old play area in need of improvement, a group of parents set about raising funds to replace the worn out equipment. After 18 months of hard work they secured funding from Groundwork UK and the Big Lottery's Community Spaces Scheme.

Further grants from South Norfolk Council's neighbourhood fund, the Geoffrey Watling Charity, the Saffon Community Foundation and Brooke Parish Council helped them reach the �60,000 target by the end of 2010.

'It is designed so they can take risks and challenge themselves in a safe environment,' said Marie Hood, mum and secretary of the Brooke Playpark charity.

'So far the feedback has been extremely positive.

'I am pleased so many local children turned up because they've been involved in the process from the start. Before we held public consultations I ran workshops in the schools, asking children what kind of things they wanted to play on. After this I'll be going back to school to find out what they think now.

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A pile of climbing logs in the play area from the grounds of nearby Langley School and the park also features a sports area for older children.

'There are so many individuals who worked terribly hard,' added Mrs Hood. 'I just want to say thank you to them all.'

The land for the park has been leased to the charity by Brooke Village Hall.

Declaring the park open, hall chairman Harry Mirfield said: 'We were impressed by the enthusiasm of the playpark representatives, but it was hard to be confident that they could raise the large amount of money required. It's great to say we were wrong.

'It takes a lot of hard work and determination to fight one's way through the grant award process. Great efforts were also needed to raise the extra monies to allow the scheme to go ahead. The results of all that effort is this splendid facility.

Everybody who has helped should feel very proud. They richly deserve the thanks of the whole community.'

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