Money-raising campaign for Woodseats playground falls behind target rate

Halfway through its campaign, a local community group has raised just £825 of its original £20,000 target.

The Friends of Woodseats Playground group turned to crowdfunding and tried to raise the £20,000 needed for the playground in six weeks.

David Kemp, chair of the Friends of Woodseats Playground community group, said: “We’ve had limited success so far and we’ve only got three weeks left.”

He added the local group was looking to do a school bag drop and print leaflets to raise the profile among people in the community.

Mr Kemp said: “At the moment we’re known through Facebook but there’s still a lot of people who come here who don’t know about us.”

Mr Kemp said, of the project: “It’s about raising community awareness and making people think the park is loved again.”

The local group was looking to work with double 6, a community youth group at the other end of Chesterfield road to have a wider reach across the local area, added Mr Kemp.

He said, of the campaign: “It’s about aligning our aspirations with the council’s management.

“Ultimately this is the council’s park so we can’t put anything into it that’s not agreed with the council and its them who’ve got to maintain it so we just need to think about how we do that and manage community expectations as well.”

Lisa Firth, Head of Parks and Countryside at Sheffield Council, said that the council had not met with the group since they started their crowdfunding project.

She said: “The Friends group are very enthusiastic and motivated however, we are advising a note of caution in terms of what is achievable in the short term with the limited funds and the amount of council officer time which is available to support them.”

Ms Firth added the council had already invested money into improving the playground from the sale of Cobnar Cottage and they had installed two new pieces of equipment during the summer and a new double gate in September.

She said: “Parks are hopeful that the group won’t be put off by what now seems to be starting to be a much more challenging project than maybe they first thought.”

Sonia Twigg

MA Journalism, Sheffield University @sonia_255