Written by Playdale Playgrounds Ltd
Playdale Playgrounds Ltd and Supporting Communities have formed close ties and are working with community groups to improve local play facilities. This article is an update on the work happening in Macosquin, Co Londonderry.
Macosquin Playground Project
Playdale Playgrounds Ltd is working closely with Macosquin Village Community Association to redesign a community play park. Macosquin is an isolated rural village just outside Coleraine. Their playground project aim is to upgrade their current playground to provide a fun, safe environment for children to play in that will allow them to integrate with other children, learn to share, increase confidence and respect for others while encouraging active and healthy lifestyles.
The existing play area in Macosquin Village
Playdale met with Lynne Ballentine from the Macosquin Community Association, along with Christina Paul, the area's Liaison Officer from Supporting Communities, to look at and survey the site, and to listen to their plans and ideas to regenerate this existing, dated playground.
The equipment is at the end of its life and in need of replacing. Alongside this area, is a vast, open tarmacked space with just a single basketball hoop. This is an ideal area for a MUGA (Multi Use Games Area) where up to 8 sports can be played by juniors right through to teenagers. This also creates a great social hub for the teenage members of the community.
Robert from Playdale set to work on designing an exciting new play area in collaboration with our partners in Northern Ireland; Hawthorn Heights Limited, also based in County Londonderry.
Our proposed play area for Macosquin Community Association
The proposed play area caters for children ranging from 18 months to 12 years old and features a range of paint free, low maintenance & vandal resistant stainless steel play equipment designed to promote health and well-being, including: Stainless Steel Swings (including the inclusive Team Swing), Inclusive Orbit Roundabout, items from our hugely popular Adventure Trail, modular tower units from our Little City and Big City ranges and a number of our contemporary dynamic Movers. The plans also include an all metal Classic Agoraspace MUGA.
The majority of the equipment we have included is ‘Inclusive’. When it comes to ‘Inclusive Play’ a well-designed play area should provide the opportunity for all children to participate in play, regardless of their age or ability. An inclusive playground should offer the same thrills, challenges and experiences as any other playground, but also include provision for those less able to experience the same enjoyment.
Goals for Macosquin Village
Gavin McGonigle, Chair of the Macosquin Community Association told us:
“Our goal as always, is to reduce a sense of rural isolation, to provide a fun, safe environment for children to play in, to get more people together and to allow the children, teenagers, and wider community to be fitter overall. Macosquin Primary School, Pre-School, Ten-Five Club, and sometimes other visiting religious organisations also use the Playground Facilities.
We hope to have word on the development of the new play-park facility in place in the near future. Macosquin Village's culture, identity and very fabric is intergenerational with children and parents from the surrounding area and as far as Coleraine using the facilities. The play-park facility is always working/operating to capacity and has done so for many years, but now we want to focus on improving the playground overall, through making the park more welcoming for the community, children, and visiting families.”
Speaking on behalf of the whole community, Gavin advised that they were very impressed with the design and have since presented it for consideration to their Local Authority, Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council.
Who will benefit?
The whole community will benefit from the Playground project. Macosquin Community activist Rhonda and members said that they were “Very impressed and overwhelmed with the idea and vision for the new playpark and the excitement of the kids in hearing about the design and project is fantastic.”
Evie McGonigle, aged 7, from Macosquin Village and Primary School said on the proposal of the new Playground, “This would be like a dream come true.”
Robert Morrison, Playdale’s Area Manager, said: “This project is yet another excellent example of how the working relationship between Playdale and Supporting Communities is assisting a community organisation to develop their outdoor space into a high-quality, safe and interactive play facility. We’re keeping everything crossed that they are awarded the funding they so deserve and these plans can come to fruition. Watch this space!”
About Playdale Playgrounds
Playdale Playgrounds is a family run business that has been manufacturing playground equipment and building playgrounds for more than 35 years. We have an extensive range of over 450 products that are designed with fun and safety in mind. We strive to continually produce exciting and innovative ideas. Playdale is dedicated to product development and full compliance to all current safety and quality standards for children’s outdoor play equipment, as well as all playground design safety issues. All playground equipment manufactured by Playdale is independently tested by the British Standards Institution and carries the prestigious Kitemark.
We understand that each community has individual needs & requirements when it comes to outdoor play which is why the first thing we will do is to come and see you! Our Area Manager Robert Morrison can carry out a free, no obligation consultation and design service where he can meet the people that matter; the community. Ideas can be shared and questions asked and you’ll get your playground off the ground. We can then draw up some plans of what your play area could look like with 2D designs, 3D visuals and detailed quotations that you can use to present to your community groups.