Elham is located in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty with a thriving farming community. By raising funds through grants we hope to improve the King George V playing field located down Vicarage Lane. It currently contains swings, a slide, climbing frame and see saw. The equipment is very old, tired and worn. Some equipment is about 30 years old. The area is little used and people rarely stay longer than 30 minutes. There are 2 new goal posts which we intend to keep.

The King George V project was to create an Adventure Play Area that is sympathetic to the area, for children of different ages and abilities to utilise both individually and with their families and friends. The aim is to create a welcoming, exciting environment that can be enjoyed by the whole community and provide an all-inclusive outdoor meeting area to enhance local and social cohesion.

Our plans were to build a creative play area that encompasses a wide range of challenging equipment for ages 18 months-18years. The equipment varies from balancing logs and monkey bars to tunnels, slides, swings and bridges. A zip wire will provide excitement and challenge for older children and adults alike. A nest swing and jungle climber provide team play and hang out areas. A gravity bowl will provide an accessible spinning experience for all ages and the city air rider will be good exercise and fun for teens. A new picnic area is situated centrally so that parents and grandparents can enjoy the area whilst maintaining a close eye on their children at play. By creating mounds and adding planting we will transform a flat static area into a hide and seek heaven.

We have a learning arena that can be used to hold outdoor classes, musical events and plays, and church services.

A Sensory Garden provides an area for quiet reflection and enjoyment of native flora. They will help attract species of birds, butterflies, bees and other wildlife.

Initial designs, in response to community consultations, needed to incorporate tunnels, swings, imaginative climbing equipment, zip-lines, spinning equipment, slides and different means of travelling between the equipment. The space is intended to cater to all age groups from 0-18 and provide continual challenges and sensory stimulation that can be built upon during a child's growth and development in the local community.

Funding for Phase 1 of the project comprises £100,000 from Community Spaces.

The scope of the project is to create a landscaped play area, with family picnic facilities and gardens that will complement and enhance a village in a conservation area with a thriving social community which at present lacks a central up-to-date enticing outdoor play area to occupy children and families in their leisure time.

The playground equipment company that was selected following a tender appraisal will also remove all the existing pieces in the park apart from the goal posts which are to remain.

The tender was awarded in accordance with the Procurement Guidance Document for the appointment of Consultants and Contractors, published by HM Treasury, and with a quality/price split of 80% and 20% respectively. The contract has been awarded to the best bid in terms of both price and quality.

The plans selected followed community consultation with residents of Elham and surrounding areas at an Open Day and some School Sessions. The selected scheme was Scheme 3 by Playdale Playgrounds Ltd - the final plans are downloadable on the right.

The Playdale Playgrounds Limited scheme was very well received by the Project Team and the public. This won more positive votes than all the other designs but also had fewer objections which was an important point to consider. The proposed design flowed well with pathways linking picnic areas and other seating areas. The request in the quotation document of having equipment that linked to each other and aerial traverses from one piece to the next were viewed as exciting. This scheme was voted overwhelmingly as the most value for money and was considered easier to maintain that Scheme 1 which also proved popular. Creative landscaping had been incorporated, and included in the price, to provide interest in the form of boulders and an area set aside for sensory planting was present.

Following 2 years of hard work, Play for Elham were extremely pleased to announce that we had been awarded the Community Spaces grant from Groundwork UK (funded by the Big Lottery) to improve the King George V playing field.

Below is feedback from the community regarding the win - thank you everyone for your support!

"What an Easter present! We are thrilled to hear that the full grant has been awarded to you. It was a splendid application based on a creative and imaginative idea and fully deserves the award. Well done. We look forward to hearing of progress and any help we can offer."

"Woah! Well done you guys! That is fantastic news."

"Congratulations to you all; you have inspired us here at Northbourne."

"Totally brilliant- well done indeed!"

"Just saw an article about your funding award in the local paper. Congratulations to all concerned. We will be moving to the village shortly and are really excited about the new park. We look forward to enjoying the new facilities for many years to come."

"Congratulations to the three of you. That's really great. It certainly wouldn’t have happened without you."

"Well done to all of you. I’m delighted by this result, a great achievement and testament to your hard work."

"Congratulations to you all on your hard work - what a fantastic achievement. Many people will be most grateful to you, myself included."

"I think this is a stupendous effort. Congratulations to you all."

"Well done on the bid!!"

"Fantastic news!"

"Excellent news. Well done to you all."

"Bloody well done Ladies."

"Congratulations!"

"Congratulations! That's fantastic news. Well done."

"That is absolutely splendid news, and a great tribute to all the hard work that the three of you have put in. Congratulations!"

"Excellent"

"That's fantastic news, congratulations!"

"Well done you guys, and as a mum, thank you very much for providing hours of future entertainment for years to come!"

"Congratulations - That is fantastic -Well Done!!!"

"That is fantastic news. A huge 'well done' to you and all the team for the time and effort you have put in so far. You must be very pleased with the resulting grant. Good luck for the next stage of the project."

"I know, its wonderful ladies - whoop whoop - here come the girls!! Yeah!! - ANYMORE???"

"Wow superb!!!!"

"Fantastic news - well done all of you!"

"Congratulations and well done to you all, a fair result after all the hard work you have put into this project. We look forward to its fulfillment."

"Well done guys!"

"Congratulations and very well done. I'm really proud of what you have achieved for the tiny ones of the village, I'm sure they will appreciate it."

"Congratulations on your huge achievement"

"Congratulations on being awarded the money from Community Spaces! This is great news for Elham."

"Well done!! I am so pleased all your hard work has been rewarded and thank you on behalf of all the children who are going to benefit from it."

We won the grant, built the park, now all we have to do is maintain it!

We need the support of the community to keep this amazing park looking great and being a safe place for children.

Please volunteer a few hours if you can, we have a rota for checking for litter, grass cutting, inspecting the equipment, planting flowers and hedging and much more!