Brave councillors abseil for play parks

Forest School Leaders Dawn White and Sue Evans with their pupils outside the school

Picture: Habibur Rahman (180146-338)

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COUNCILLORS are doing their bit to revamp local parks – by abseiling down a five-storey building.

Havant councillors Andy Lenaghan and Leah Turner, who represent Hayling Island, will be joined by their Hart Plain colleague Gerry Shimbart, for the abseil in September.

Together they will scale the side of five-storey Ward Court on Hayling Island seafront.

All the money raised will go towards upgrading the equipment in the island’s play parks.

Councillor Lenaghan said: ‘The only time I’ve ever done something like this before was on an outward bound course many years ago for work – but that was only 10ft.

‘This is five storeys and I must admit that I am quite nervous because I don’t like heights.

‘But I’m going to try and conquer my fear with the abseil.

‘I think we’re all unlikely people to do something like this.

‘We hope it inspires lots of people to sponsor us.

‘We’re looking forward to it. We’re hoping to get a good crowd out. It’ll be a great day.

The abseil, on September 14, has been organised by neighbourhood police officer Debbie Surridge.

She said: ‘Sprucing up the play parks is one of the ideas of the Hayling Island Community Focus Group.

‘Young people had expressed that they wanted more exciting things, like zip wires, in the parks.’

Cllr Lenaghan added: ‘The play grounds on Hayling are run-down.

‘Local authorities are short of cash these days.

‘Most of the money for playgrounds comes from grants. We need to kick-start the fundraising with this – even though it will only make a dent in the amount we need.

‘We hope it will unlock other grants in the future.’

And he would like the public to join him at the event.

It costs £5 to register for the abseil.

There are time slots available from 8am to 7pm.

The minimum amount of sponsorship required is £10.

Registration forms can be picked up and dropped off at from Hayling Island Community Centre. They will be collected and email confirmation sent to let you know you have been allotted a place.

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