Celebration as school play area saved

Opening of recently resurfaced play area at Drake's Primary School. Alan Lowe from Budleigh Lions cl

Opening of recently resurfaced play area at Drake's Primary School. Alan Lowe from Budleigh Lions club cuts the ribbon. Pictured with Alan and pupils are sponsors Nicola Hood from Thomson Reuters and Carla Fanning from Clinton Devon Estates. Picture by Alex Walton. Ref exb 7537-13-13AW. To order your copy of this photograph, go to www.sidmouthherald.co.uk and click on myphotos24 - Credit: Archant

Children at Drake’s Primary School are celebrating after a popular part of their play area was saved.

In September last year, the playground’s fitness trail of outdoor play equipment was inspected by the Health and Safety Executive, who told the school that if it was not resurfaced by February this year it would have to be closed off.

That left the school’s new PTFA committee – Debbie Merrifield, Helen McNaughton, Jo Liddle, Katie Lee, Emma Burch and Ali Newcombe - facing a race against time to raise the £4,000 needed to get the work done and save the play area.

To do this, they held a number of fundraising events, including cycling awareness courses, a trip to Crealy, cake sales, a school disco, Christmas card sales and a festive mulled wine reception.

For the first time, because of the scale of the task the PTFA faced, they also asked for outside sponsorship, and received support from Lord Clinton’s Charitable Trust, Thomson Reuters, the Norman Family Charitable Trust, the Gibbons Family Trust, Budleigh Salterton Lions Club, and county councillor Christine Channon.

Their efforts meant that the money was raised, and children and sponsors were able to brave drizzly weather for a grand reopening, at which headteacher Carron Saunders was full of praise for the PTFA.

She said: “They have worked so hard and so enthusiastically, and that enthusiasm has transferred to the children as well and they have been coming up with ideas and doing their bit to help.

Most Read

“We’re really lucky to have such dedicated people working tirelessly to make sure the children really enjoy their play.” “The children were devastated at the thought they wouldn’t be able to use [the play area] and really were passionate about trying to get everybody to contribute to the events they arranged.”