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Delight in Halesworth as work on new playground begins

PUBLISHED: 07:00 22 April 2016

Linda Runnacles, Linda Watson, Jane Kircher and Sheila Beanlands celebrate work starting on the new Halesworth playground.

 PHOTO: Nick Butcher

Linda Runnacles, Linda Watson, Jane Kircher and Sheila Beanlands celebrate work starting on the new Halesworth playground. PHOTO: Nick Butcher

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Children and families in Halesworth are one step closer to being able to enjoy a brand new playground in the town - all thanks to a voluntary organisation.

Led by grandmother Jane Kircher, the Grandparents and Parents Play Association (GAPPA) spent a year raising more than £40,000 for the project.

And this week, work finally got under way transforming the playground in the Town Park.

“We feel very excited,” said Mrs Kircher, who was inspired to launch the campaign by a similar project in Bungay, and her own struggles in finding a place to take her grandchildren to play.

“They’ve completed their new playground in Bungay and it’s just so lovely to see people out and in the park.

“We’re right in the centre of Halesworth and I think it’s going to be a big plus for the town.”

She and a team of around 20 other volunteers applied for grants from the likes of Halesworth Town Council, the Co-op Community Fund, OneFamily Foundation, Flagship and Adnams.

Mrs Kircher said: “I could never have done it without the GAPPA crew.

“It’s something the whole town has got behind.”

Financial support also came from local businesses, and the community supported the scheme by attending fundraising events run by the GAPPA committee throughout the year.

The new equipment will include a climbing frame, slide and nest swing, as well as a disabled-accessible roundabout, and cost just over £42,000.

The extra funds raised, roughly £5,000, will be used to buy benches and other furniture for the play area.

Work installing the new equipment started on Monday and will take three weeks to complete, and there will be an official opening ceremony at a later date.

“It’s something we’ve done for the town,” said Mrs Kircher. “And we can be very proud of it.”

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