Residents are preparing to mark the opening of a new play park that has come to symbolise a community’s recovery from the devastating affects of December’s flooding.
Sandylands was one of the areas of Kendal hardest-hit by the floods, with many residents forced out of their damaged homes.
The project to rejuvenate Sandylands’ park was already underway before the flooding, but it has now become part of the community’s rebuilding and its official opening on Bank Holiday Monday, 2 May, is seen as a key milestone in that recovery process.
South Lakeland District Council (SLDC) has supported the Sandylands Residents Association Trust in its two-year campaign to raise more than £135,000 to pay for the construction of a park, with the help of grants from various other charities and organisations including Russell Armer Homes and the SITA Trust.
Rev Jonny Gios of Sandylands Methodist Church has been actively involved in the community’s flood recovery work and said the park represents something that Sandylands’ residents can be proud of during what is still a very difficult period.
Rev Gios said: “Since the floods, Sandylands has become an even closer community and the community spirit has been phenomenal.
“The park started from a dream two years ago and now it has become a reality. It is just amazing really.”
After 20 years, Sandylands’ former playpark was in need of a facelift, and it was requests from residents and a letter from the Girl Guides group that got things moving.
The group approached Sandylands Residents’ Association Trust, which worked with SLDC to raise funding and create a design for the park. As well as the new play equipment, there will be outdoor gym equipment for the use by older teenagers and adults.
These features support SLDC’s aims to improve the health and well-being of residents, as part of its council plan commitment to work to strengthen communities and improve people’s lives.
The park will be officially opened at 2.15pm by the Chairman of SLDC at a special family fun afternoon at the park on 2 May, that will feature childrens’ games and entertainment.
At the same time the new name for the park will be revealed, following a competition run by Sandylands Residents’ Association with local schools in the area and children from the participating schools will take part in the opening ceremony.
The winning name will feature on signs installed around the park donated by Sun Signs