Our Playground Fundraising Appeal
Our poor playground is in quite a state, due to the number of tree roots coming up through the tarmac. Unfortunately, the planners at the local authority have put a blanket Tree Preservation Order (TPO) over the whole site and won't allow us to remove any trees even if we re-plant, so we have to spend a lot of money resurfacing and funding some way to stop the same thing happening again! We simply do not have the money within our diminishing budget and so in 2018, we launched a fundraising campaign to raise £100,000. We have raised more than that now, so are aiming for £120,000 for the final few things!
In April 2018, the Daily Echo featured us on their front page to kickstart the campaign. You can see the article here:
We also made a video to tell everyone about the project:
St Patricks School funding Video
Funding so Far
Following our media campaign, we were contacted by Sheila Elsey, Coop Community Leader and a former parent, who offered to spearhead the campaign. She quickly obtained £5,000 through the Coop Local Causes Fund and also secured the backing of the local Coop to send in their employees on a volunteer day.
Kasia Davenport, one of our staff and also a former parent, organised a wonderful community fun day, Shamrock Party in the Park, in October 2018 and raised over £3,000.
Some of our children have also got involved, including Jack, who had the idea to wash cars!
Thanks, to Tom O'Toole, one of our parents and an ex-pupil, we have been awarded £1000 from Genesee and Wyoming, an international freight company with offices at the Town Quay. They will be funding the nature walk and greenhouse and also sending in some employees to help install it. They held an employee work day for us in February 2020 and cleared our planting and allotment areas.
The Diocese obtained 2 DfE grants for us, one for £35,000 to replace the fencing around the school and on the playground, the other for £16,000 to install YR fixed play equipment. The YR equipment was installed in February 2019 and the fencing is being done in phases, with the final section due to be competed in October 2020 subject to planning permission.
The SPSA were successful in securing a Community Chest grant of £1878 for a community allotment and orchard. Unfortunately this is currently on hold due to the Covid-19 situation.
We recently heard that we were successful in securing a DfE grant for resurfacing the playground worth over £100,000: this was always going to be the major cost of this project, so we are delighted!
Progress to date
February 2019 We managed to secure around £16,000 from the Diocese to install a proper Early Years playground, so that the children could access the full curriculum.
Summer 2019 With the urgency of the tree root problem, we had to spend nearly £4,000 removing loose paving slabs and putting bark mulch around 2 of the trees.
February 2020 Volunteers from Genessee and Wyoming and some parents and children from the SPSA came in to clear our planting and allotment areas.
Summer 2021 The major work has been done! Under the watchful eye of architect Liam Watford, the whole playground got a much-needed makeover. The team built 2 huge soakaways and various gullies so that surface water could drain away and then put a beautiful new layer of tarmac across the whole playground. What a difference!
Summer 2022 We are nearly there! The KS1 play area has been installed to encourage creative and social play and Year 1 finally have their outdoor learning area. Over the next few months we will be finishing off the forest school area, the allotments and the pond.
If you would like to help us finish this exciting project, contact the school office - we'd love to hear from you!