FOR years they have offered free, fun sessions to entertain children across the community.
But now, National Lottery funding for the play rangers in Fareham has run out.
So to mark their last session in Stubbington yesterday, the Crofton Lions held their very own teddy bears’ picnic to say ‘thank you’ to the play rangers for all their work.
The play rangers visited different outdoor areas in the borough after school and during the school holidays with sports equipment and arts and craft materials to encourage children to be more active and play outdoors.
President of Crofton Lions Vicky Stabler said: ‘They have been travelling around the borough for years encouraging outdoor play with arts and crafts just to encourage children to be outside and play.
‘Today was their last session. We thought we would invite them here on their last session to make it into more of an event.
‘It was just a great opportunity to get as many people together as possible so people could come and say their goodbyes.
‘They have been such an important presence in the community all over Fareham.
‘It’s been great to see them there. They have been invaluable.’
There was a bouncy castle, face painters, zorb balls and a charity raffle at yesterday’s event.
Vicky added: ‘It was really good. It was very well attended considering the weather.
‘Lots of people came in from all over Fareham borough to see them.
‘People brought presents and we had cake.’
Play Ranger Cheryl Balson, 46, from Locks Heath, said: ‘It was brilliant. I was a bit upset because it’s the last one.
‘But it was nice. It was touching that so many people came.
‘It was a good send off. It brought people together from different areas.
‘I got a few cards and some of the kids got me some presents.
‘I just couldn’t believe it was the last session. But I’ve loved it and I wouldn’t have changed it for the world.’