Lapworth mum's £65,000 fundraising mission now complete

When Clare Shales saw that her village’s playground needed a good revamp, she took it on herself to go on a £65,000 fundraising mission to realise her ambition.

Friday, 28th June 2019, 2:19 pm
Clare Shales with the new play equipment.

And tomorrow (Saturday) children from Lapworth will be able to enjoy the brand new playground next to the village hall for the first time, when it is unveiled.

Clare approached the Lapworth Parish Council seeking support to improve the former out-of-date facilities. The mother of two and a local vet won support from the council and started fundraising in 2017.

She secured funding from the National Lottery, Tesco’s community fund and local charities such as the Dorridge Fun Run.

Clare Shales with the new play equipment.

Grants were also awarded by Warwick District Council, the Rural West Community Fund and Lapworth Parish Council.

After consulting with parents and children at Lapworth Primary School, it was decided a focus should be on new facilities that appeal to all ages rather than just toddlers. The parents also wanted to see the style of the playground in keeping with nature and so a ‘Scandi’ style design was sought.

Playground company Kompan were chosen to transform the space next to the Village Hall in Old Warwick Road.

A birds nest swing, a ‘you and me’ swing for two and an agility trail have been installed. A ‘supernova’ roundabout and ‘sky carousel’ have been added for older children as well as climbing frames and traditional swings for babies, toddlers and older children.

Clare said: “When we moved to Lapworth in 2010, we loved the lovely walks along the canal but felt the playground could be improved to keep our boys entertained.

“Having always fundraised, I wanted to get involved in the local community to make a difference so approached the council with the idea. It’s been a real pleasure helping to bring this project to life.

“I’d like to thank all of the supporters including the National Lottery Fund, Tesco and Kompan. I’m so excited to see young people enjoying it and for my boys to burn off some energy on the fantastic agility trail and sky carousel.”

Cllr Clive Henderson, chair of Lapworth Parish Council, said: “When Clare attended the parish council meeting in 2017, we couldn’t have been more pleased to help and support her drive to improve the playground facilities.

“After working together to secure different forms of funding, we’re delighted to see the new playground ready for local children to enjoy.

“I’d encourage local residents with young children to use it and also to come forward with ideas like Clare did to continue to make Lapworth a truly wonderful village to live.

“As well as Clare, I’d like the thank the district council, ACLLoyd, the Lapworth Charity for their support and initiative to deliver the new playground for young people in the parish.”

The playground officially opens tomorrow (Saturday) at 10am and there will also be a raffle raising funds for the primary school, and refreshments.