Our StoryWe’re two mums of young children, we are both New Zealanders living in Dundee and we are both fed up of having at least one of our children injured every time we visit our local play-park. I wouldn’t say we were namby-pamby mums, we know kids get the odd scraped knee and bloody hands from running everywhere they go…generally too fast. We want to encourage our children to have the same kind of adventures we did as children at their local play-park. We want them to learn about playing, taking risks, climbing and feeling ill from going too fast for too long on the round-about!
But the fact is our play-park is in a pretty awful condition, the surfacing is largely made up of crumbling gravel and the equipment is over 35 years old.That was fine for when we were kids but now play-parks have to compete with the TV, games consoles, tablets and phones. Our play-park, though in a lovely location, provides absolutely no competition to these more modern appeals.
So in June 2013 we made it our mission to replace the play-park. Not bits of it so that it would need re-doing in a few years but the whole thing, our budget is approx. £150,000. It’s an ambitious project but we passionately believe to be a very worthy one. We have four children between us, but there are over 2,000 school aged children within 1 kilometre of our play-park and nearly half as many pre-schoolers and babies. We surveyed a large percentage of the local community and discovered that 75% of families chose to drive to other parks over 5 kilometres away. Not surprising really but an enormous shame in a world that talks about the importance of outdoor play and physical challenge.
The park is used regularly by local nurseries, child-minders and special needs schools despite its condition but it doesn’t provide much stimulation. In our opinion it does not cater at all for children over the age of 8 years old. It is a council property but we know it will not be upgraded by them within the next 5 years….that’s too long to wait and maybe it’s no bad thing that we do it ourselves anyway.
(Raffle stall at a recent lunch event)
So that’s our motive. Since June 2013 we have been on a continual fund-raising drive and we’ve raised an amazing £45,000. Clearly we have a way to go, but with your help we will get there. We've been lucky to have a lot of other local parents join in with us and we've had the help of a local charity 'The Friends of Magdalen Green'. Here’s why you might join the crew and help out;
- Maybe you played at the play-park as a child, you grazed your own knees or loved the park because of the trains that run alongside it
- You have a child, grandchild, niece, nephew or child you care for who plays at this park
- You know the importance of play for children and have fond memories of your own play-park experiences
- You know Scotland has pretty rubbish weather so understand that outdoor play is a big deal
- You like to make a difference – no matter how small any donation gives this tiny fund-raising team such a big boost
Sharon and Alice
Images and videos of some of our donation perks
Other Ways You Can Help
Please tell all your friends and family members about this campaign. Ask them to share this link via email, Facebook and Twitter etc.