Nursery targeted by thieves gets £44,000 play area

A new £44,000 play area is to be installed at a nursery for disabled children which was targeted by thieves earlier this year.

Nursery targeted by thieves gets £44,000 play area

The new play space is to be set up at Old Tree Nursery, based on Pendeford Hall Lane, near Wolverhampton, and will be fully accessible for disabled children.

It is hoped that the space will provide new opportunities for children of all ages and abilities to learn and creatively play in the great outdoors.

The £44,350 project is being led by Heantun Housing Association, part of the Accord Group, which runs the nursery. Funding for the work is coming from The Veolia Environmental Trust, who have awarded a grant of £28,800 through the Landfill Communities Fund. The rest of the cost is being met by the nursery from its own resources.

A large covered sandpit will be installed as part of the project, as well as water play and music equipment, natural play spaces such as dens, mini tipis and tables and benches. The centrepiece of the space will be an exploratory tree house for everyone to enjoy. The equipment will be made from natural materials from the site or from recycled, sustainable products. It is expected that the new space will be completed by February 2017.

The nursery opened in 2015 to provide training, employment and enterprise opportunities for vulnerable adults. Team members help grow a wide range of plants, flowers, trees and fresh produce, which are then sold in the nursery, along with other gifts and cards. During the year, the nursery hosts several events for the whole community.

The nursery was burgled in early October this year and a large safe was taken from the office – with more than £1,000 of cash inside. Since then, an online campaign was launched to raise money for the nursery.

Joanne Antcliff of Old Tree Nursery, said: "We developed the plans for this project after asking the wide range of people who access our services what they would like to see on site.

"What could be better facility than a fun-packed play space? It will be a place where everyone can let their imaginations run wild, get messy and learn, all for free.

"We are so pleased that work on the play space is about to start."

Executive director of The Veolia Environmental Trust, Paul Taylor, said: "We support community and environmental projects across the UK and it is always great to hear that one we are supporting is starting soon. I look forward to seeing this great new play space being used and enjoyed."

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