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Charmaine swings it for local community

Charmaine blythe

Published: Tuesday, 2nd February 2021

Broadland District Council and Horsford Parish Council have worked together to rejuvenate three of the village’s play areas.

Park View was the first to be completed in April 2020 followed by play areas in Coltsfoot Road and Beckside. The £70,000 project was inspired by 10 year-old-resident Charmaine Blythe, who petitioned the Parish Council to ask for a new swing at Park View play area by Horsford Village Hall.

She said: “The play area had hardly any play equipment and what was there was old and wasn't any good for playing on, I really wanted a swing.”

With the help of her parents, Charmaine petitioned the local community for improvements to the play area and gathered over a hundred signatures.

“We were so proud of her,” said her mum Marie, “she did really well.”

The family presented the petition to the Parish Council, who sought the help of Broadland District Council and working together they drew up plans for a much-needed new play area.

The councils removed the dilapidated old equipment at Park View and replaced it with not one, but three swings, 2 slides, a roundabout, climbing frames, sensory boards, extra seating and much more.

Charmaine said: “When I heard we were getting the new play area, I felt really happy and excited, as we finally had something to do.”

Marie added: “All she wanted was a swing, but then she got something so much better, so she was really pleased.”

The project was such a success that the councils also worked together to rejuvenate two other play areas in the village, one at Coltsfoot Road and the other at Beckside.

Broadland Councillor Fran Whymark, Cabinet Member for Housing and Wellbeing, said:

“Charmaine wanted a new swing, but what she got was so much more. Horsford now has three lovely new play areas for children to enjoy thanks to one little girl’s determination to make a difference. She is an inspiration and thanks to her and the collaborative work of the two councils, children in Horsford have fantastic play facilities right on their doorstep that will be enjoyed by children for many years to come.”

Chris Brown, Chairman of Horsford Parish Council said:

"Charmaine only asked us for a swing, but her determination in getting so many signatures on her petition was the catalyst for this joint project between the two Councils. We listened to her and provided so much more in Park View than she had asked for and then in Coltsfoot Road and Beckside. It just shows what a big heart and determination can achieve.”

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