Neighbours build outdoor play park for family of three toddlers

Danielle Spooner’s neighbours worked with her to help create a space where her three young children could play outside safely.

Before and after
Before and after

When a mother-of-three found herself cooped up inside with three young children during lockdown, her neighbours worked together to help transform the car park into an outdoor play area for the young family.

Danielle Spooner and partner Jason Lowe live in a two-bedroom flat with their three-year-old son and 18-month-old twin boys and did not have any outside space for their children to enjoy.

Lockdown rules in Wales have seen some public parks closed which means the family cannot even visit the one across the road from where they live.

The play area has been built on wasteland at the back of the car park (Danielle Spooner/PA)

Miss Spooner, from Trallwn, Swansea, told the PA news agency: “It has been very challenging with no outside space and young children who are used to being out and about.

“Right at the end of the car park is a bit of wasteland that hasn’t been used for years. The other day we were thinking we could make a little mini playground – by then we were at breaking point because you can’t even take the kids to the park.”

With permission from the landowner, neighbours Amanda Evans and Carl Fackrell pitched in to help transform the unused area into a play park complete with trampoline, paddling pool and toy cars.

The group of neighbours worked together to build the play park (Danielle Spooner/PA)

They built the park in less than two days – and for less than £100 – largely using materials they already had.

The owner of the fish and chip shop next to the flats took them dinner on both nights they were working on it.

Miss Spooner said: “Everyone has been amazing to help us, even when they don’t have to. Since lockdown a lot of communities have come back together like ours.”

None of her neighbours have young children, so it was built for the children to use exclusively.

She said: “They helped us build it, and gave up that space because they could have put their own little garden there if they wanted to. But to give it up to the children is fantastic.

The mother-of-three said they had reached ‘breaking point’ (Danielle Spooner/PA)

“The children went crazy when they saw it – running around, trying out everything that’s in there.

“They’re toddlers, and toddlers like to get into trouble and when they’re cooped up in a flat, obviously they are getting into a lot of trouble, which is stressful for us.

“So for us to be able to sit outside a bit and them to play safely is amazing. They can muck around, play and we can sit outside and be adults and be stress-free for five minutes.”

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