VIDEO: New play area ‘best thing’ in Southwick

‘ONE of the most exciting things to happen in Southwick’ was how the town’s new play area was described when it was opened for the first time.

Families packed into the refurbished play area on Southwick Green after it was officially opened by the Southwick Green Community Team.

Fiona Dunn, left, with her children, Clive Bramble and Mel Prior with her children at the opening D15111507a

Fiona Dunn, left, with her children, Clive Bramble and Mel Prior with her children at the opening D15111507a

Mums Mel Prior and Fiona Dunn, who met through their children, were behind the £80,000 project, having started the campaign for improvements two years ago.

They helped to organise the funding, set up the community team and involved pupils from Glebe Primary School and Shoreham Academy in planning the new equipment.

Mel’s children, Charlie Elliott, six, and brother Jamie, four, and Fiona’s two, Barney Silburn, seven, and sister Meg, four, were rewarded by helping to cut the ribbon at the opening ceremony.

They were guided by Clive Bramble, former parks manager on Adur District Council.

It is a lot of fun

Barney Silburn, seven

Fiona explained that Clive had done a lot to help when they first mooted the idea and when he retired from the council, he continued to work on the community team to see the project to fruition.

“We could not have done it without him,” she added.

Both mums said they felt quite emotional after the gates were opened and scores of children poured through with their parents to try out all the new features. They were presented with bouquets by a grateful parent to thank them for their efforts.

Pamela Powell, of Southdown Road, Southwick, had gone down just to see the children enjoy themselves.

Trying out the inclusive roundabout, which has level access, with the new pirate ship in the background

Trying out the inclusive roundabout, which has level access, with the new pirate ship in the background

She said she had lived in Southwick for 43 years, having moved to the town in 1971, from Mile Oak.

“I feel this is one of the best things that has ever happened on Southwick Green for the children,” she said.

“It has really made me happy to see them today. I love everything about Southwick.”

Other adults at the opening also spoke of it as the most exciting thing to happen in Southwick.

Children ran around trying all the new equipment and the big ship proved one of the most popular.

Charlie said: “It is really good on the ship.”

Barney said he loved it and the ship was his favourite. “It is a lot of fun,” he added.