A GROUP of mums have finally realised their dream of turning a dilapidated park into a modern, well-equipped play area for children.
Three years ago, the women formed Parklife Community Action Group with the aim of applying for funding to improve the park and skate area at the rear of Chiltern Crescent and Cotswold Road.
Chairman of the action group, Carla Harvey, said: “The park was in a state of disrepair. In addition to the safety surface coming away from the ground, there was missing equipment, broken equipment, and the equipment which remained was outdated. The skate area was also in a very sorry state.”
In March, 2010, the group secured its first sum of money – £24,000 from the Youth Opportunity Fund which paid to renew the skate area.
In November that year, the group made it to the final of Meridian’s People’s Millions and stood a chance of winning £50,000 from the Big Lottery Fund. However, they did not win the public vote and lost out on the funding.
Mum-of-four Carla, of Cotswold Road, added: “So, onwards and upwards we continued to fund-raise, and eventually we managed to secure funding from Big Lottery Fund Changing Spaces Grant, funding from Viridor Credits, and along with the remaining funding from Worthing Homes, we are very proud to have all the funding for the renewal and regeneration of our community park. It just goes to prove that hard work and effort does pay off.”
The park will be officially opened on Saturday (April 14) with a family fun event between noon and 4pm.
There will be free food and drink, face painting, a bouncy castle, badge making and music. There will be free basketball skills sessions with Storm and D&D Junior basketball clubs between noon and 2pm, and football with Albion in the Community between 2pm and 4pm.
Parklife Community Action Group has more improvement plans for the park, including art boarding around the perimeter fencing of the playground and basketball court, new picnic benches, more bins, lighting and security cameras.