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New look Harpenden play area unveiled

PUBLISHED: 15:48 10 May 2019 | UPDATED: 15:48 10 May 2019

SPAWG members Karah Abberley, Sally Dalton, Jon West, Alister Barclay, Rod Cooley, Sarah-Jane Cooley, Teresa Heritage, Glyn Goodwin, and Sally Griffith with their awards. Picture: Joe Abberley

SPAWG members Karah Abberley, Sally Dalton, Jon West, Alister Barclay, Rod Cooley, Sarah-Jane Cooley, Teresa Heritage, Glyn Goodwin, and Sally Griffith with their awards. Picture: Joe Abberley

Copyright Joe Abberley joeabberleyphotos@gmail.com

Volunteers have unveiled a Harpenden playground after a make-over.

The Southdown Play Areas Working Group (SPAWG) raised all the money needed to revamp the Parva Close play area in South Harpenden, fitting it out with new football goals, a basketball court, and a trim trail.

After years of fundraising and work, the new play area was officially opened by Harpenden Town Mayor Cllr David Heritage on April 27 at an event attended by Hitchin and Harpenden MP Bim Afolami and deputy leader of Hertfordshire County Council, Cllr Teresa Heritage.

Secretary of SPAWG, Rod Cooley, said: "It is a tremendous feeling of achievement for the whole team and it is wonderful to see all of the children, teenagers and adults enjoy the refurbished play areas.

"This has been the result of a huge team effort, local community involvement, and the generosity of our sponsors."

This is the second playground in five years that SPAWG has refurbished - the first project was on Oakley Road, where the main attraction used to be a corroded slide.

That new space was opened in March 2016 by Lady Verulam, Dione Grimston.

SPAWG has raised more than £105,000 for the two projects combined.

Donations came from private persons, organisations, residents and businesses, as well as through SPAWG fundraisers.

Rod added: "The Oakley Road play area is very popular with children, especially straight after school, and now teenagers can enjoy the Parva Close play area, as we specifically wanted to provide something for older children.

"A new toddler zone has also been created for very young children."

He said it looks "fantastic", highlighting that St Albans district council (SADC) also erected new fencing around the two areas.

In recognition of their efforts, Cllr Heritage presented the SPAWG team - Karah Abberley, Sally Dalton, Jon West, Alister Barclay, Rod Cooley, Sarah-Jane Cooley, Teresa Heritage, Glyn Goodwin, Sally Griffith, Morven Allen, Suzy Cater, and Gail Robinson - with a new Community Award created by the mayor himself.

The SPAWG charity will now be wound up because it has achieved its mission, but work will continue on restoring the ancient hedgerow around Parva Close.

Find out more about SPAWG at www.southdownplayareas.weebly.com

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