Underhill Park Playground Appeal
As the play equipment in Underhill Park has become run down and unsafe, it has been removed by the council. However, in the current economic climate, the funds have simply not been there to replace it. Whilst many people have pointed out that it's the council's responsibility to replace it all, we feel that our children will have grown up and left home before that happens! So we are taking the bull by the horns and getting it sorted. We know Mumbles has a fantastic community who will support us.
The playground has been in a very sad state. Until very recently, it consisted of just one basket swing, an old and slippery wooden climbing frame and a rickety roundabout which is probably next on the list for removal. No slides, no proper swings, no real fun. The playground often lies empty. When children did visit, several of them ended up sharing one piece of equipment, such as the basket swing, at the same time, with a questionable level of safety.As the play equipment has been removed, so the number of children visiting the park has dropped. We carried out a consultation of local children and parents, and 36% of them told us that they no longer visit the park because there is ‘nothing to play on’, the ‘facilities are unsafe’ and ‘it’s old and sad there’. We believe our youngsters deserve better. The full consultation can be viewed on our website.
Friends of Mumbles Parks have been able to find the funds (generously donated by Cllr Myles Langstone and Mumbles Community Council) to put some new toddler play equipment back into the playground, and a toddler slide and baby swings have been installed. This is great news and we are thrilled to have made this progress. However, this still leaves a huge gap, quite literally, in the playground for a larger piece of play equipment suitable for our older children, from ages 4 to 13.
They have told us that they want to be able to climb, have a big slide and play creatively, among about 100 other totally fabulous ideas! We have recognised their need to play and are desperate to provide one large piece of play equipment that will fulfill lots of their requests in one go. The piece we have found that would do this, is called ‘The Castle’,reflecting the cultural heritage of the area and the proximity of Oystermouth Castle to the park. It has opportunities to climb, slide, tunnel and for endless creative play. The Castle will cost £25,000 to buy and install it, which we would aim to have done in time for Summer 2019.
Alongside the Aviva grant application for The Castle, we are inviting local residents and business owners to contribute via Crowdfunding. We are grateful for any donation, however big or small. We have a wishlist of equipment that we would like to put into the playground. Any funds raised will go directly towards buying this equipment. If any individual or business would like to sponsor one of the items below outright, please get in touch with us directly.
- Trampoline £3,875
- Inclusive roundabout £5500
- See Saw £4,225
- Cherry twister £1000
- Zipwire £5000
- Interactive playboards x2 £1000 each
- Picnic bench x2 (recycled plastic) £550 each
- Bench seat x2 (recycled plastic) £334 each
Underhill Park serves several schools and many hundreds of local children in and around Mumbles, Newton, Langland, Caswell and beyond. It should be their local, 'go to' playground. However, through our consultation and anecdotal evidence, we have found that many are not visiting Underhill regularly, instead travelling by car to other areas of Swansea such as Brynmill and Cwmdonkin Park to seek out a decent playground. We feel this is wrong; they should be able to walk, scooter or cycle to meet their friends and play happily and safely in their local park. That is our aim, to bring people back together, see children playing in and enjoying their playground and to create a space where meaningful and long-lasting community connections can be built. Installing ‘The Castle’ is just the start of our plan to create a fantastic, accessible and exciting play space that our children have told us they want, and where the physical and emotional well-being of Mumbles’ young people is top priority.