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Smile Park

Aylsham - East of England

Grant Awarded: £49,975

Residents in Aylsham, Norfolk, used their Community Spaces grant to create a new, vibrant, play area for their local teenagers.

Before the new park was built, there was very little in the town to occupy bored teenagers, as they had nowhere to go other then an empty recreational field.

To tackle this problem head on, the Alysham Recreation Ground group secured £49,975 from Community spaces to build an inspiring place, which was designed to encourage teenagers to be healthier by being active and enjoying physical exercise.

To create a unique playing area that teenagers would find interesting, the group chose to make the layout of the equipment and the flooring out of recycled NikeTM trainers, as they believed this would create a vibrant space for the play area. The group used the rest of the funding to install a buddy swing, a modern roundabout and bars to slide down, instead of generic slides.

Heather Morton, project leader for Aylsham Recreation Ground is overjoyed with all the positive feedback from the community.

“Smile Park has become the focus for people to meet. Families with young children meet up with there friends to play and have a picnic. Older children arrange to meet their friends here after school.

“Older people have even commented on how good it is to see older children playing and having fun.”

Thanks to the new park, children are now exercising in a variety of different ways including upper and lower body strengthening, as well as learning new balancing skills.

Heather believes the best thing about the park is that it is constantly busy. “I love hearing the squeals and laughter of children of all ages playing and having fun together out in the fresh air. The whole area has come to life with children and it’s fantastic to see.”

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