TWO of Hayling’s biggest play parks could be modernised in a huge community effort.
In a survey of children across the island the run-down play parks came top in the list of things they would most like to change.
Now Havant councillors Leah Turner and Andy Lenaghan have joined together with Hayling PC Debbie Surridge to launch a campaign to raise up to £100,000 to refurbish the first park – Mengham.
Cllr Turner said: ‘Schoolchildren on Hayling have been to other places like Portsmouth, Southampton and Leigh Park and seen these wonderful play parks with brilliant new equipment.
‘What the children don’t realise is that, in most cases, they are not paid for by central or local government but by the community themselves.
‘It is going to cost between £80,000 and £100,000 for Mengham – where it really needs upgrading – but we think we can do it. Then we will turn our attention to Hayling Park.
‘We want equipment for toddlers all the way up to teenagers.
‘And not the old fashioned stuff they have now but the adventurous pieces they will want to go on – netting to climb and zip wires.’
Last year Cllr Turner was joined by 200 others on an abseil down Ward Court, in Hayling, which raised £6,000.
‘The Lions Club of Hayling have donated £5,000 and Havant Borough Council has earmarked almost £10,000 from developers contributions for the project.
The group has also applied for large grants from charitable organisations which they are waiting to hear back on.
‘What we really need, more than anything, is ideas for fundraising,’ said Cllr Turner.
‘We know what equipment we need but now we want a huge community effort to get us there.
‘The more fun the ideas the better.’
Local businesses have also been approached with requests for donations.
The organisers of the Hayling to Paris bike ride have also confirmed they will be asking riders to support the play parks fund next year.
It is hoped the first play park will be up and running by spring 2016 with other play parks to follow.
Anyone who would like to donate should send a cheque only, made out to Play Parks for Hayling, and send it to 15 Nicholas Court, Green Lane, Hayling, PO11 0BQ.
For more information, and to submit fundraising ideas, go to playparksforhayling.co.uk.