IMG_4326The Tilton on the Hill Playground Project

 

In August 2012 a new playground was opened, on the previous site, adjacent to the Tilton Village hall and in glorious sunshine! It came at the end of an intense period of fundraising by local mothers. Finally, the children of Tilton and District had an accessible and stimulating play environment.

The history of the project is important in that it illustrates the kind of community cooperation at which Tilton has excelled. The need for a safe accessible play area had been demonstrated by the work of the Parish Plan, itself a major piece of investigation about the needs and wishes of residents and their children. The mums decided to respond to those needs and established a small team to raise monies accordingly.

The team was amazed and delighted when support came in many forms and from all directions. The Tilton Village Hall Committee backed the initiative. The WI provided sustained support on many fronts; and the people of Tilton and Halstead gave generously to events such as: the Christmas Fairs, the Sing Song Supper and the Strawberries and Sangria Afternoon. Friends from Leicester city and from wider Leicestershire were willingly drawn in to help.

For all of these events the team received donations in kind from local farmers, and businesses such as Gates Garden Centre, Morrisons, Ragdale Hall, Stapleford Park, Twin Lakes Adventure Centre and Hambleton Hall.

Some Tiltonians went the extra mile by raising monies by themselves. Two villagers organised a very successful Antiques Evening and the Village Produce Show identified the playground as one of their named charities.

Building on this sustained fundraising, the organising team began to attract monies from local trusts based in Leicestershire and adjacent counties. The Florence Turner Trust, The Reginal Corah Foundation, The Helen Jean Cope Society The Maud Elkington Trust, and R.D. Laing, all offered support.

The final thrust came via a National Lottery Grant and substantial grants and donations from Leics CC ,the Cooperative Foundation, the Market Harborough Building Society and the Mars Foundation finally brought the playground within reach.

Their efforts were supported by local media. The Eye Radio at Melton, attended key events and raised public awareness. Countryside La Vie covered the Glitter and Gold Ball and the Melton Times publicised the Calendar Girls Publication. The Harborough Mail provided coverage of the grand opening by an Olympic Torch Bearer, Mrs Sue Furlong.

Since then the usage of the playground has been quite extraordinary and has vindicated the belief of those mothers who decided one day that Tilton’s children deserved something better.

Dr Margaret Herrington mherrington1@aol.com

0116 2597361,on behalf of the planning team:

Suzanne Duxbury, Lena Novacic, Sindy Modha, Zoe Isherwood, Debs Walker, Lisa Battle and Mr Julian Bird.