New playground in memory of Grace

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Ready for the unveiling were, left to right: Nathan Wright, 8, Wendy Ruck, Community Champion, Stow-on-the-Wold Tesco, Mery Sutherland, 10, Rebecca Herringshaw, Groundwork, and Jan Sherwood, Chairman Ilmington Parish Council. (Photo by Andy Tinkler)

CHEERS of delight greeted the opening of a new games area at Grace’s Playground, in Ilmington.

Children from Ilmington Primary were excited to try out the football wall and basketball half-court – known as a MUGA (multi utility games area), which cost more than £11,000 to install.

The new area had been built under the guidance of Ilmington Parish Council, who were keen to replace an existing dilapidated skateboard ramp with something that would appeal to children and indeed adults of all ages.

The project has been funded by an £8,000 grant from Tesco’s Bags of Help Campaign, generous local benefactor Sarah Holman, the Red Lion pub, and Grace’s Fund.

Grace’s Fund was set up in memory of Grace Wright who died, aged three, when she choked to death in her Ilmington home in 2008.

The fund raised money to rebuild the village playground, which is named in her honour.

It was especially poignant that Grace’s younger brother, Nathan, who was a newborn baby at the time of her tragic death, took part in the opening ceremony on Tuesday, 15th November.

Alison Wright, Grace and Nathan’s mum, commented: “It’s wonderful to see all the kids enjoying the new equipment. This is what we always wanted Grace’s Playground to be: a place where all ages can have fun.

“With Nathan opening it feels like we’ve sort of come almost full circle because he was tiny when the playground opened in 2009.

“This is a wonderful legacy.”

Parish chairman, Cllr Jan Sherwood, added: “After a lot of hard work and planning by the Parish Council, the new games area is finally open.

“We are eternally grateful to Tesco’s Bags of Help and our benefactors for making this happen.”