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Couple raise £900 in play park appeal

Pupils at Sprouston Primary School are raising money to build a new play area at the school. Heather-Scott Watson and her husband Douglas (middle) raised �800 at the weekend running the Edinburgh Half Marathon.

Pupils at Sprouston Primary School are raising money to build a new play area at the school. Heather-Scott Watson and her husband Douglas (middle) raised �800 at the weekend running the Edinburgh Half Marathon.

Sprouston couple, Douglas and Helen Scott-Watson, hope the £900 they raised running a half marathon will kick start a new play equipment appeal.

The village did have play equipment consisting of a climbing frame, slide and monkey bars, but these were recently removed by Scottish Borders Council after being inspected and deemed to be unsafe.

And while the village’s local youngsters – there are 36 pupils at the adjacent village primary school – can still play on a nearby grassed area in the summer, it now leaves just a tarred hard-standing area for them to use during the winter months.

“The climbing frame provided year-round fitness, fun and social entertainment for all ages from nursery to primary seven,” Mrs Scott-Watson told us this week.

“It was all a bit basic, but everyone’s disappointed it’s now been removed with nothing to replace it.

“So we are starting a big fundraising effort to raise enough money to replace it with something of a similar size and design.

“But we need to raise lots of money – around £6,000. My husband and I have started the ball rolling – we took part in the Edinburgh half marathon recently and raised around £900 for the school.

“We would do it once a month if we could raise enough for the school but we can’t keep asking the same people for donations.

“So we want to raise awareness and appeal to local businesses and ex-pupils to support our efforts.”

And she added: “It’s the local parent council which will be overseeing the appeal and we’ll be looking at applying for lottery funding and the like, but if anyone wants to organise a fund-raising event they can get in touch with the school to notify them of their plans.”

A spokesperson from the local authority at Newtown St Boswells told The Southern this week that it had been an inspection of all school play parks in the Borders that was undertaken during March and April of this year that had highlighted problems with the play equipment in Sprouston.

A council spokesperson told The Southern yesterday: “The two main items in the park at Sprouston were identified as being unfit for purpose or repair due to the condition of the timber work both above and below ground level.

“They were subsequently removed on safety grounds. Following consultation with the headteacher, the parent council was approached and they agreed to look into raising funds to purchase new equipment.

“The play park at Sprouston was the only one which warranted this action.

“Any issues identified at other schools were of a minor nature and have all been resolved.”

 

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