The Latest News
Despite the bad weather, the play park installation continues and is on schedule to be completed in time for our Open day on 4th May when Alan Titchmarsh will officially declare our play park Open!
The play park so far.......
We do have some disappointing news, the willow archway in picture below has been stolen from the bike track. Due to the cost and the fact it may get stolen again, we have decided not to replace this.
The new bike track is primarily for children aged between 3 to 12 years old and is adjacent to the play park at the Recreation ground. The track is designed to ride around the trees on the humps and bumps formed by the top soil, it is not a BMX track.
Picture one - The willow arch for the log seat which is set at the end of the bike track in the sunniest part surround by wildflowers.
Picture two - The tunnel archway will no longer form part of the bike track.
Our Fundraising Journey
It gives me great pleasure to announce, that we have been informed that are second submission to Veolia for grant funding was successful and we have been awarded the full amount requested of £22,350.00.
You may have heard that our grant application submitted to Veolia Environmental Trust in May 2017 for funding to replace the playground was unsuccessful, although we felt confident that we had put together a strong application including conclusive evidence why Bentley should be awarded the funds. The Clerk has since spoken with a member from Veolia who gave us their feedback on are application and design that we submitted to them and the reasons why they felt it didn’t meet their criteria. We have since taken their comments on board, focusing on the Play England theme using natural materials wherever possible, educational but fun attributes with lots of inclusive play equipment for children with disabilities. We are also going to incorporate a bike track using the existing woodland area at the side of the play park which was previously overgrown and used as a dumping ground. We hope by incorporating their suggestions this puts us in a good position to re-apply to them in October 2017 and we will be notified of Veolia's decision in early December 2017.
During the Parish Council meeting on 11th September 2017, it was agreed to award the play park contract to eibe. Are latest Rospa report highlights the risks of keeping the play park open, so we felt that it was in the interest of the public to make that decision to close it. We realise this will cause disappointed, however we remain focused and determined to complete this project which is being treated as a high priority!
We have received a lot of goodwill from the community in are quest to deliver this project with donations, pledges and fundraising events taking place we have had lots of fun along the way, this has definitely been a team spirted project!
Well done to Archer aged 6, who did a 5 mile walk around Alice Holt and raised £1,052.50 and this was reported in the local newspaper
Isobel aged 7 raised a staggering £775.00 during her sponsored mud run in September.
These children did a sponsored Halloween walk around Mill Farm in Bentley which raised £2177.55 including gift aid. The Promises Auction was held on 14th October 2017 in the Star Inn which raised £4,270.00. Lots of local businesses donated items and services to include: Finkley Down Farm, Forest Lodge, The Chocolate Frog, Blacknest Gold Club, JCB and many more... These items where auctioned during the evening to raise these much needed capital towards the play equipment.
The Star Inn hosted a fabulous evening with exquisite food! A huge thank you to Sally Dando who organised this event.
A THANK YOU to our local District and County Councillors Ken Carter and Mark Kemp Gee, Castle Street Flowers who donated £300 from a wreath making workshop, Waitrose in Alton who gave us £268.00 from their Community Project Appeal (green tokens) and the kind people who gave up their Sunday morning to wash cars in Bentley at our carwash fundraiser which raised £416.25.
We made news on the radio!!! To listen our Eagle Radio interview and to see more photos and information about our fundraising projects, please click onto our Facebook page below:
It is clear to see how important this play park is to not only the local children and adults but the surrounding areas who have all got involved in someway.