BLACKBIRD Leys children can finally play on their new equipment, six months after it was donated.

The Blackbird Leys Adventure Playground (BLAP) received the climbing frame in November from Botley couple Andrew and Jill Bond, who no longer had use for it in their garden now their son has grown up.

But the children could not enjoy their new bars, slide, ladder and rope because there was no safe play surface around the climbing frame.

But after the Oxford Mail revealed the Blackbird Leys Road playground needed £500 for the work, a local surfacing company offered to do it for free.

EcoSurfacing, based in Upper Heyford, near Bicester, installed the flooring on Monday so the children can now play safely.

The company’s director Chris Moore said: “We saw the story in the paper that they had this climbing frame donated and were trying to raise money for the safety surface.

“We do quite a lot of work with local schools in the Oxfordshire area. It’s the perfect location for what we do, and the kids get a new playground surface.

“My wife encouraged me to do it and said I should get involved with the community.

“It’s about time we gave something back, because charity work is not something that we do regularly.”

BLAP’s secretary Sue Price said: “The kids are so excited. On Monday the company put the base in and the kids were all desperate to go on it.

“It was lovely, they really, really enjoyed it – it’s just beautiful.

“Very few of them can actually swing across the bars, but it’s quite nice to see them try and try again.”

The Blackbird Leys resident added: “There’s a great buzz that the community is amazingly supportive.”

BLAP was given £1,965 by Oxfordshire County Council as part of its chill-out fund in September, which ensured that it has a programme in place for the winter and money to replace equipment.

The adventure playground was closed in December 2008, but it was brought back to life in November 2011, when it was given a £6,590 grant from the Gannett Foundation, the charitable arm of the Oxford Mail’s parent company.


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