Croughton village hall’s ‘jewel in the crown’

Croughton Play Park opens NNL-180731-154203001
Croughton Play Park opens NNL-180731-154203001

The children of Croughton now have a brand new play area to while away the hours after a community effort raised thousands for its construction.

The journey to transform the area adjacent to the village hall began in late 2015 with consultations and culminated last month with the opening of the village hall’s ‘jewel in the crown’.

In between consultation and grand opening a lot of fundraising was undertaken by the Croughton Village Hall Management Committee and trustees who own and run the play park.

Kerry Gilbert, trustee of Croughton Village Hall and play park project manager said: “It started with small local events in 2016, plant sales, car washes and the like. These were great for local awareness and the community support was really encouraging, but to get to £130,000, well you need to sell a lot of cakes. We applied to over 35 different funding streams.

“In the early days we got a lot of knock-backs, and that was really difficult. Then we reached a point where the tide turned, and it started to snowball.

“By mid 2017 we had reached about £15,000 then benefactors became more interested in supporting us.

“In the four months from October 2017 to January 2018 we raised a whopping £75K. We were so happy, and we could finally start work.”

She added: “We are so grateful for the support from the community. It really is lovely to see children of all ages enjoying the new park, and playing outdoors.”

The ribbon cutting ceremony was well attended with children already displaying what a much used facility the new equipment will be.

Croughton Parish Councillor Trevor Davies, who spoke during the opengin, said: “Young people of the village now have excellent play and sport facilities as a result of the hard work, perseverance and commitment of the play park committee.

“We as a community will benefit over many years to come”