Improved Stradbroke play parks ‘would boost community hub’ as fundraising efforts continue

Stradbroke play areas - Westhall ANL-161221-141831009

Stradbroke play areas - Westhall ANL-161221-141831009

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A Stradbroke mother and parish councillor leading a bid to bring improved play park equipment to the village believes it can help boost the entire community.

Mother-of-three Ellie Wharton said about £65,000 is needed to update and install new equipment — including zip wires, new swings, multi-use play areas and picnic benches — at the play parks at Westhall and the village community centre.

Stradbroke play areas - Stradbroke Community Centre ANL-161221-141723009

Stradbroke play areas - Stradbroke Community Centre ANL-161221-141723009

A host of fundraising events have already taken place, including a bingo night, raffles, picnics and a family disco. These have generated about £3,500 towards the cause. Stradbroke Parish Council has pledged a minimum of £15,000 towards the project, while donations and grants take the grand total so far £26,000.

Mrs Wharton, who said some parents would travel to surrounding villages and towns for their children to use better play equipment, said a community-wide survey revealed residents fully behind the bid.

She added she was aiming to get the new equipment installed by early summer next year.

“I am trying to do my bit for the community and try and improve the village’s play parks,” she said. “Stradbroke is such a fantastic village and we have some fantastic assets and facilities, but the play parks is the one thing that lets the village down at the moment.

“We want to create areas where people can come and socialise and bring their kids and grandkids, and build on the community hub which is already very good here

Ellie Wharton, Stradbroke Parish Councillor

“We want to create areas where people can come and socialise and bring their kids and grandkids, and build on the community hub which is already very good here.”

“Fundraising is going well but we need to keep up the momentum. If there are any business who want to donate of help with any events then we would be pleased to hear from them.”

Tesco customers in Diss and Stowmarket can help the cause, with the supermarket currently running the Bags for Help scheme. Your vote at the till could help add a minimum of £1,000 to the project.

n Some of Stradbroke’s finest workmen have stripped off for a ‘cheeky’ calendar to aid the fundraising cause.

It costs £6, and is their own take of The Calendar Girls.

Calendars are available from Stradbroke Library, the village bakery, Skinners, via the Stradbroke Play Park Fundraising Group Facebook page, or by emailing parish councillor Ellie Wharton at elliestradpc@outlook.com