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Playtime for children in Wombourne

Children in Wombourne will be having fun in the sun this summer after a new play area was officially opened by Gavin Williamson MP.

The Birchill play area on the Giggetty estate, Wombourne, has been built by South Staffordshire Housing Association thanks in part to a £10,000 Big Lottery Grant.

Residents on the Giggetty estate told South Staffordshire Housing Association that there was a lack of safe areas for children to play so planning permission was gained to develop the space on the corner of Birch Hill Avenue and Birchill Place.

On Friday, July 15, Gavin Williamson MP for South Staffordshire attended the official opening with representatives from South Staffordshire Housing Association, South Staffordshire District Council and its Play Rangers, Big Lottery Fund, as well as residents and members of the Giggetty Resident Group.

Gavin Williamson MP said: “It was a great privilege to be able to open this fantastic play area for children in Wombourne and I hope that it will bring many hours of enjoyment and entertainment for children and parents alike.”

SSHA consulted closely with residents to find out what facilities they wanted at the play area and the Giggetty Residents’ Group will use the area for activities for young people.

Chair of the residents’ group Bobby Lay said: “The play area is a great investment for the community and is going to be a very valuable community resource where children can play safely.

“We are going to make the most of the space and are already planning community activities like a barbeque and picnic that everyone can come to.”

Wombourne Youth Action Team (WYAT) has supported the project along with Staffordshire Police, Staffordshire Fire and Rescue and the local parent support worker working, who have all worked in partnership with South Staffordshire Housing Association and South Staffordshire District Council.

Debbie Griffiths, chief executive of Housing Plus, of which South Staffordshire Housing Association is a part, said: “This project demonstrates our commitment to developing open spaces in a way that will be beneficial to the whole community, as well as our residents. Thanks to the funding we have secured, we have added a valuable resource to an area where there is little provision for young people.

“The success of this project is down to all the community partners working together with residents and listening to the needs of the community. We are delighted with the finished product which can be greatly enjoyed by the residents on the Giggetty estate.”

Birchill play area opens. L-R: Bobby Lay, Gavin Williamson MP & Debbie Griffiths