Community Spirit sees Playground Rise from its Ashes

Tens of people attended a new play facility in Sandall Beat Woods, near Armthorpe, Doncaster, to mark the official opening of a new play area after the previous facility was burned to the ground.

Just 18 months on from the arson attack of December 2020, Doncaster Council representatives and members of the ‘Friends of Sandall Beat Woods’ Community Organisation were on hand to ceremonially welcome visitors.

Helpers and volunteers from the group have raised more than £7,000 to replace the large climbing frame centrepiece of the old playground. That sum of money went towards a bid of around £117,000, which the local authority provided through capital funded money.

Mayor Ros Jones, who was delighted to cut the ribbon to signify the reopening of the new play area, said: “This is a fantastic new addition to the play facility at Sandall Beat Woods to replace the equipment that was so mindlessly destroyed 18 months ago. 

“This new play area is also a brilliant example of partnership working between the Council and the wonderful Friends of Sandall Beat Woods Community Group. Their tireless fundraising efforts ensured that we could continue to offer exciting play activities for our younger visitors to enjoy within this beautiful and much loved local woodlands. 

“It has been my pleasure to open this new facility and I am sure it will provide hours of enjoyment and help create happy memories for children and families from across Doncaster and beyond.”

Catherine Stephenson, Friends of Sandall Beat Woods, said, "We are delighted to see the new playground finished and being enjoyed by lots of young people. We'd like to thank everyone involved in making this happen, Mayor Ros Jones, the Street Scene team, Green Space officers, Kompan, the lay team and the rangers based at Sandall Beat Woods.

“We'd especially like to mention the support from the public who also contributed whether it be financially or through expressing how important this asset is to our community. To this end a plaque has been installed which reads 'Community is much more than just belonging, it is doing something that makes belonging matter.' Enjoy your new playground!"

Simon Burke, Area Sales Manager for Kompan Ltd. said, “Kompan were delighted to be successful in securing the award to redevelop the very popular play area at Sandall Beat Woods and working with Doncaster Council.

“Being a visitor of the site, gave me an understanding of how popular the play provision was to site for all visitors so knowing how well received the new play area will be – creating a fun, exciting and challenging play space with new equipment for all ages and abilities.”