Pride on show as new park for Shepreth unveiled for ‘generations to enjoy for years to come’

PUBLISHED: 10:20 12 September 2017 | UPDATED: 10:58 12 September 2017

Shepreth Parish Council chairman Ruth White flanked by Dee McCabe (left) and Katherine Maison from the Friends of Shepreth Parks group at the official opening. Picture: Peter White

Shepreth Parish Council chairman Ruth White flanked by Dee McCabe (left) and Katherine Maison from the Friends of Shepreth Parks group at the official opening. Picture: Peter White

Archant

Children in Shepreth now have somewhere new to play thanks to the hard work of a village action group.

Painting competition winner Jacob with his sister. Picture: Peter WhitePainting competition winner Jacob with his sister. Picture: Peter White

Friends of Shepreth Parks secured funding for the new play area to help create greater community cohesion for families and young people.

The new park – at the back of the village hall in Station Road – replaces the old offering of a mere double swing set and mound slide that had been there since the 1970s.

Dee McCabe, who is a founding member of the group alongside Katherine Maison, got to work 18 months ago to secure funding for new equipment with the help of other parents.

She told the Crow: “Shepreth lost its school in 1982 and its shop in recent years. So how do kids integrate with others in the village if there’s nowhere to go?

Children playing on the new equipment in Shepreth. Picture: Peter WhiteChildren playing on the new equipment in Shepreth. Picture: Peter White

“They go off to other schools in other villages, so they don’t get to know each other. That’s where the idea came in – there was this massive open space behind the village hall which we wanted to revamp.

“Government obesity issues, the NHS Change For Life initiative and the overwhelming need for somewhere for our children to play, develop, imagine, form friendships and simply be children was the driving force to Friends of Shepreth Parks forming to fundraise, seek donations from local businesses and undertake the daunting and lengthy process of applying for grants.

“Shepreth Parish Council recognised the need in the village and pledged a generous amount of money. Friends of Shepreth Parks was then formed from a group of like-minded mums to add to this sum.

“We secured a grant for £20,000 from the Amey Community Fund and a £1,500 grant from South Cambs Community Chest.

“The park looks amazing! We have now had a ribbon cutting ceremony attended by members of the community and Councillor Ruth White, the parish council chairwoman.

“We’d like to thank local businesses for their generosity – we held a fundraising raffle to which lots of businesses donated prizes and later we asked for donations to buy bits like bins and benches where we raised enough to purchase two novelty bins and two benches.

“We feel we have formed an area we can be really proud of for generations to enjoy for many years to come.”

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