Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Hunstanton Childrens Playfund

Hunstanton Childrens Playfund was formed in 1990 by a group of people that were concerned about the outdated play equipment in Hunstanton, and the lack of adequate childrens play equipment.
The committee consisted of Chairperson: Mrs Sara Harmer, Vice Chairperson: Mrs Sylvia Chilvers ( The Sandcastle) Secretary: Mrs Dawn Davies (ME), Treasurer: Mr Michael Thomas JP with Henry Bellingham MP as Patron.
Who were we?
We are a voluntary organisation (a registered charity), aiming to raise funds to provide a safe and pleasant integrated play and family area, within our community, where children of all abilities may intermix.
There is a holiday home (The Sandcastle) for mentally and physically disabled and underprivileged children in our locale, which is a popular holiday resort.  We are carrying out our campaign with their support and have turned to them for their specialised knowledge.
What were our aims?
It is our aim to provide a safe integrated play and family area where children of whatever level of ability may enjoy ‘normal’ healthy activities together.
Our wish is to provide a play area with equipment that has been specially designed with the needs of the disadvantaged children in mind.  It is important that we provide an integrated facility to allow ‘all’ children to freely mix so that able bodied can learn to accept those less fortunate for what they are, growing human beings like themselves.
It should be noted that the ability to play is an essential factor in a childs growth and development, and we feel strongly that disadvantaged children should not be shut away out of sight.  ALL children should have the opportunity to play freely!
Our concept includes a garden area with scented flowers and trees where those without the gift of sight may experience the smell and feel of nature.  Provision would also have to be made to allow parents the ability to sit and watch their children at play, as well as ribbon paths to make wheelchair access easier.
It is a sad fact that if we don’t succeed in our campaign, a great many children may never experience the joy of shared play.  If we cannot provide these facilities, no one else will!

Henry Bellingham MP cut the first turf and did the official opening.
After 10 years of fundraising, events, grant applications the facility was opened at the rec in 1999 much to everyones delight, now 11 years on it brings us joy to see it still being well used.
The facility has been handed over to the Borough Council who maintain it.

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