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Revamped play and planting space at St Catharine’s under-fives


Come rain or shine: children at a Gloucester playgroup can now enjoy the great outdoors all year round.

The makeover means a safe, secure and pleasant play area for the group, with new and improved facilities.

It includes a new nature zone for children and adults to grow vegetables and flowers, plus a covered shelter so that the outside area can be used in wet or hot weather.

The ground has been levelled with new tarmac to prevent trips and water logging, and the fenced area has been extended and strengthened to make it more secure for children to play.

A bike shelter has been added to make it easier for people to leave the car at home and choose healthier, greener travel to the church or church hall. This will also help free up parking in the area.

The children within the local community who attend St Catharine’s under fives playgroup, toddler group and events at the church did have a limited and very basic outdoor play area. This has now been improved considerably following the council grant.

The group applied for funding to improve the facility and received a total of £11,731.19: £9858.50 from the county council’s Active Together Fund and £1872.69 from the Children’s Activity Fund.

Cllr Jeremy Hilton, county councillor for Kingsholm and Wotton said: “I was very pleased to secure funding from the county council to help improve the outdoor play area at St. Catharine’s Church Hall. The under fives’ playgroup does a wonderful job in providing learning and play activities for local children between the ages of 2.5 and 5 years. They now have a safer place to play. This project supports young children to play and socialise together giving them all a good start in life before they go to infant school.”

Cllr Tim Harman, cabinet member for public health and communities said: “Encouraging outdoor play from a young age is important in today’s hi-tech society. By revamping this community facility, we are helping to give children and their parents more opportunities to enjoy the multiple health and wellbeing benefits of the great outdoors. I hope it helps give local youngsters a good start to their education.”

Tina Gaulton of St. Catharine’s under fives said: “The playgroup is extremely happy to have the new outside area and it has changed the way the sessions operate, making it easier to set up and put away and safer for the children to play.”