Parents open new playground after grant rejected

Emily Chen explores the new Trinity Play Grounds at Trinity Primary school. Picture: Steven Scott Taylor
Emily Chen explores the new Trinity Play Grounds at Trinity Primary school. Picture: Steven Scott Taylor
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A NEW playground designed by children is set to open after a two-year fundraising campaign.

The project at Trinity Primary School cost a total of £50,000, with the lion’s share of the cash raised by its parents association.

This is about changing the landscape so the children can use their imagination

JACQUELINE SCOTT

Some of the children have already had a chance to sample the facility – which they helped to create – ahead of its official opening on Thursday.

Head teacher Jacqueline Scott revealed that the playground, which is designed to look as “natural as possible”, had already proved a big hit with the children.

She said: “This is not about putting in set play equipment. It is about changing the landscape so the children can use their imagination for more creative and active play.

“The children are over the moon and love their new play area. At first they were almost overwhelmed.”

The school asked the children to share their ideas about what they’d like to have in their ideal playground and a vision of tunnels, sandpits and a den building took shape.

Trinity dads Paul Pearson, who works as a playground designer, and landscape architect Chris Ravenscroft took the ideas and turned them into a plan that the children all loved.

The project started life in 2013 after the school failed to win a Scottish Government grant awarded through the Grants for Learning scheme amid stiff competition from other schools.

But parents were so determined to create a playground for their children – and for future generations of pupils – to enjoy that they decided to raise the money themselves.

Ms Scott said: “Even though we weren’t successful in getting the money, we decided we still wanted to transform the school and improve the children’s learning experiences.

“And having got the commitment from the parents, staff and pupils, this has been driven by the parent body. They have done a huge amount of work to get the fundraising going.

“Without the parents and pupils this wouldn’t be possible. The parent group has worked so hard along with support from the city council.”

In 2013, the parents association kicked off its fundraising drive to make the children’s ideas a reality.

With the support of parents and carers from across the school, members raised more than £30,000 in just over a year and received a further £20,000 from the Sportscotland Legacy 2014 Active Places Fund.

And after more than a year in the planning and hundreds of hours of work, parents and Trinity staff said they were “over the moon” to be celebrating the opening of the “fantastic new play” space for the children.

john.connell@edinburghnews.com