Playground Campaign Nears Target

More than £6,550 has been raised for new play equipment at Bodkin’s Field in Long Wittenham and the campaign organisers say they hope children will be playing there next spring.

A grant of £7,300 has been secured from South Oxfordshire District Council but one of the conditions is that the campaigners have to match-fund the grant.  Supporters say they are £737 short of their target but are confident of hitting it by the end of the year.

So far £6,554 has been raised including a donation of £2,500 from the parish council.  The Wittfest music festival at The Plough pub raised £1,600 and the village Fun Run £700.  Wittenham Warriors and Safari Supper each gave £500 and a women’s social party £419.

Campaigner organiser Catherine Harrison said: “Our thanks to everyone in the village who has put their hands in their pockets to help support this project.  New play equipment is long overdue and will be a great leap forward for children in the village to have new and up-to-date play equipment.”

One of the fund raisers Sally Duff said: “We are doing really well to meet our target of £7300.  We still have a few events planned most notably Bonfire night, as this year’s profits will go towards the playground project.”

It’s hoped to start work on the playground in the Autumn and it should be ready by next Spring.  Before work starts a section of hedging will be cut back to create more space for the playground.

The breakdown of donations is: Parish Council £2,500, Wittfest £1,613, Fun Run £700, Wittenham Warriors £500, Safari Supper £500, Sylva Foundation cake sale during Arts Week £260, Girl’s Just Wanna Have Fun evening £419, and the cake sale at the swap shop £62. There are still Long Wittenham bags for sale and there’ll be a cake stall at the Sylva Wood Centre Christmas event.

Catherine Harrison said the main people to thank were Steve Brown for helping with the grant application to the district council, Sally Duff for organising the Girl’s Just Wanna Have Fun evening and Jenny Caw for hosting it.

Clare Winterbourne ran the swap shop cake sale, the main Fun Run organiser was Prew Bowtell, Matt Clamp organised the barbecue at the Fun Run and thanks were due to The Plough pub for staging the Wittfest music festival.  Many others helped by baking and volunteering.

Catherine said: “I will now get on with choosing the contractor and my aim will be for them to start work in November so that it is all ready for spring.  This is the exciting part so if anyone wants to get involved in helping select the contractor, choose the equipment and be involved in overseeing the works then that would be great.”

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