Peterborough park fundraisers optimistic for future despite problems with new equipment

Nathan Potts and Chris Vaughan with Hugo Lorimer during the open day
Nathan Potts and Chris Vaughan with Hugo Lorimer during the open day
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After raising nearly £40,000 to introduce exciting play equipment into Thorney Park, the big unveiling for the new equipment did not quite go to plan after it was discovered that some of it was faulty.

But that has not dampened the enthusiasm of volunteers at Thorney Youth Project, whose determination and hard work mean young people in Thorney have a 30m zip wire, wheelchair accessible trampoline, multi-gym and big swing to enjoy for years to come.

The volunteer group had raised £39,600 for the equipment after dad of three Chris Vaughan had become determined to make the park a much more entertaining place for young people to visit, and a grand open day was held two Sundays ago with families in the village to unveil all of the new apparatus.

However, it was soon discovered that the multi-gym was unstable, prompting a call to the company which installed the equipment return and make the necessary repairs.

And now that the final alterations have been completed Chris is confident Peterborough City Council visits will give the all clear for the multi-gym to start being used when it comes to inspect this week.

He said: “It’s taken less than three days and the problems has been rectified. It’s absolutely fine now.

“The installation company realised they had to put a little bit more concrete in each piece of the gym equipment to level it off and get the nuts down far enough so it was tightened and made 100 per cent secure.”

Chris, who lives in Thorney, had become determined to raise the money for the new equipment after being inspired by a park in Market Deeping which had far more for young people to do than the one in Thorney.

He was joined in his fundraising by Nathan Potts and Samantha Godley, with the three of them together raising the money.

Over a year and a half various events including a big fun day, car boot sale, disco and pamper day were held, as well as a silent auction for paintings and a picnic in the park where 220 people turned up in the first hour.

Grants were also received to help push the final total up to its huge amount, which meant the go ahead could be given to install all of the equipment.

Chris said he received plenty of support from the council and Thorney’s councillors during the fundraising.

He added: “It’s nice to see people in the park and enjoying themselves instead of going home, and seeing the kids playing. This has really given the village a buzz. We are over the moon.

“It’s the fact we’ve been able to do it for the community. And we will keep fundraising.”

Although there have been problems with the multi-gym, Chris confirmed the rest of the play equipment has remained in use. The council has agreed to add the park’s equipment to its maintenance schedule, meaning it will be inspected on a regular basis to make sure that it is safe.