Our children and young people have had a hard time during the Pandemic. Unable to play with their friends for a long time, they now are returning to play.
The new idea of active travel means we relax and play as close as possible to our homes as possible by foot or pedal power.
There are lots of exciting new ideas about playareas. As well as 'traditional' play of swings and roundabouts, they can have such as zip wires, witches' hats, multi-use games areas, adventure or imagination play, sensory centres, areas accessible to all abilities, eco-friendly materials combined with enjoyment of controlled nature.
There have been some excellent playareas installed in Thurso recently including community funding.
Unfortunately, often Highland Council did not have the resources or combined strategy to maintain equipment leaving it to suffer the wear and tear of children at play.
Components have been removed, whole stations fenced off for the safety of our children.
It is fantastic that Caithness cllrs have secured a guarantee of a combined strategy on playareas, and have access to some funding. But as even they admit, this promotes joined-up thinking and the latter is just the beginning for new playareas.
This is where we the community come in. We are the boots on the ground which our excellent ward cllrs and dedicated Council officers might not straight away.
Broken seat swing? Flag it.
Hazardous fencing? Tell someone about it.
A group of us have established this working group. We include parents, experienced events organizers, and others with get-up-and-go attitudes. What unites all of us is a desire to make Thurso a wonderful place for people of all ages.
Our particular focus is on the Beach Road and Murkle Terrace playareas in Thurso. We are under no illusion that root and branch change will happen overnight. Beach Road is well over an acre in size!
What can be done in the short term are cosmetic enhancements. A lick of paint. Resetting a bit of unsafe equipment. A new bench or bin. A wee change can make all the difference in how people observe the area.
This Crowdfund aims to purchase suitable materials and then employ reputable contractors. We will consult with relevant agencies at all points.
Start small, think big.