Generous grant for play project

VALUED play activities will continue in Pill and Easton-in-Gordano thanks to a generous grant toward a new project.

Easton-in-Gordano Parish Council has set aside �20,000 to ensure children’s activities in the two villages are safeguarded for the future.

This comes after funding for the successful play pod and play ranger service, operated by North Somerset Council for 10-14-year-olds, ended in March.

Under this scheme a play pod, containing a range of play and sport equipment, was installed at Brookside playing field.

Thanks to the money from the parish council, this will continue to be operated and another, originally sited in Banwell, will be installed at Watchhouse Hill.

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Along with a grant from North Somerset Council, the parish council’s money will enable a company called Inspire, set up by play rangers previously employed by North Somerset Council, to continue a whole range of youth activities for the next year.

A similar amount will then be needed from the parish council to continue the work in coming years.

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As part of the project, the parish council also plans to coordinate activities run by child minders’ groups, the youth drop-in and youth club with the use of games areas and playing fields.

Parish council vice-chairman Arthur Taylor said: “We firmly believe that setting up a coordinated approach that will make a range of play facilities available across the whole of the village means we want to make children and young people a major focus in all our activities.

“We hope the rewards for this investment in the next generation will be evidenced by a reduction in vandalism, less antisocial activity and a greater sense of community.”

On April 17, more than 100 people gathered at Brookside Playing Field in Pill to mark the last day of play ranger activities in the area and to also celebrate the beginning of this new project.

North Somerset Council set up the play pod and play ranger scheme in June 2008 thanks to a �342,000 lottery grant.

When the money ran out in March, parish councils were told they needed to fund the play pods if they wanted them to keep them.

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