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Saturday August 8th 2020

Bletchingley Playground Friends Receive High Sheriff Youth Award

On Thursday 12th March 2009, Bletchingley Playground Friends received the Surrey High Sheriff Youth Award and a donation of £1000 in recognition of their work in raising funds towards the provision of a new playground in Bletchingley.

Just a year ago, three Bletchingley parents got together and formed the Bletchingley Playground Friends and with the participation of children at two local schools, St Catherines and Hawthorns, started work on a design for a new playground.  The latest draft plan combines the children’s ideas with the latest ‘play value’ research that seeks to provide elements of natural and fixed play structures in order to challenge, stimulate and encourage children of all ages in energetic play.

Sally Varah the Surrey High Sheriff said:

“The energies of Bletchingley Playground Friends in renovating the Coneybury Playground is an excellent example of a ‘grassroots’ initiative and demonstrates a sense of ownership and willingness to take on responsibility for the facilities in their community, says Mrs Sally Varah, High Sheriff of Surrey 2008-09. “The High Sheriff Youth Awards scheme gives funding to projects that ‘Help young people make Surrey safer’ and we recognise that by providing new playground facilities, this group are giving youngsters from 3 through to 14 a place to go and things to do in a way that will have very positive outcomes. We applaud the energies and enthusiasm of the group and are very happy to award them £1,000 to help provide equipment for the playground renovation.”

Tandridge District Council and the Bletchingley Sports Association have also expressed their support and even offered a suitable location, Grange Meadow.

The Bletchingley Playground Friends have already raised funds of £21,390 towards the £60-£90k needed if the goal of providing an exciting playground that Bletchingley children can be proud of is to be achieved. We would like to take this opportunity to thank all those organisations so far who have contributed towards the funding.  They are: High Sheriff Youth Award, Bletchingley Village Fair Management Committee, Bletchingley Exhibition Fund (Grammar School) Trust, Bletchingley Parish Council, Surrey County Council, Chris French and donations in memory of the late William Robert Browne. Tandridge District Council will be confirming their contribution in due course.

Details of a Sponsored Swim on Saturday the 30th May hosted by the Hawthorns school will be made available shortly.  A stall will also be held at the Hawthorns School Summer Fete on Saturday 9th May and at the Bletchingley Village Fair in late June.

If you would like to contribute to the Bletchingley Playground fund or for further details please contact Kim Wantling (Chair) on 01883 742 998 or visit the Bletchingley Village Website on http://www.bletchingley.org.uk/news for the latest update on the campaign.

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