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2018 Anniversary Playground Appeal Update July 2021

As you may or may not remember, depending on how long you have been at the school, we held a Playground Fundraising Appeal as part of our 70th Anniversary Year celebrations in 2017/18.

We - many of you and also many parents and children who have now moved on from our Cotham Gardens community, helped raise funds for our ‘£70K for 70 Years’ campaign. That was our slogan, that was our (ambitious) aim.

We started with £3K of school savings and went from there …

We were given a kickstart from a charity wishing to remain anonymous who wanted to support with a very generous £10K.

Then, parents, teachers, children, governors, co-op forum reps, the PTAF and local businesses pulled out all the stops to do what they could to support this mammoth ask. All in the name of a badly needed new playground. Good playgrounds cost a lot of money which state schools just don’t have ….

A key part of the appeal was a ‘match fund challenge’ during which we were tasked with raising £5K within a limited period of time – January to April 2018.

The prize? Match funding pound for pound raised by our school community, from another very generous anonymous donor.

Well, not only did we reach our target via all the imaginative fundraising ideas children, staff and parents came up with and executed so brilliantly, as well as local business support (shout out to Simon Porter Tennis, Gai’s Thai Massage Business, Bannatynes, Belle and Boo, Richard Harding Estate Agents, Helen O’Grady Drama) we exceeded it!

We raised £7,425! Through sponsored everything – runs, silences, mini triathlons, violin busking; cake sales galore and so much more.

So impressed were our anonymous donors they matched the extra too, and by gift aiding, it came to £9,281 making a total of £16,706 towards our playground appeal.

Our generous supporters wanted the following to be passed on ‘we were very touched by the enthusiasm and effort made by the pupils and parents’ saying ‘We hope this has made a difference’

Well, of course it has …. Eventually!

The PTAF contributed very generously too, also eliciting the support of another generous match funding donor who matched their £5K contribution making the PTAF contribution £10K overall.

We’d enrolled in the Co-op Community Funds scheme which raised just over £700 for us and … we had other valiant generous supporters including a parent who ran the London marathon in aid of our cause, a team of staff and parents who ran the Bristol 10K in aid of the campaign, as well as a long term member of our community impressed by our efforts and keen to see playground improvement for school, who donated £2,500 anonymously.

Many chose to donate funds from stalls at our wonderful anniversary fair at the end of the year And, the final tally of funds raised by the school community during the appeal was around £45K by the September - not quite the incredibly ambitious target we had set ourselves, but … all that hard work and community spirit and resolve has resulted in a lot of playground redevelopment.

 

It all took a bit of time … these things often do … we consulted with staff and children on drawing up a brief, and, careful gradual step by careful gradual step the playground has been transformed.

Here are some videos of current pupils sharing their new playground thanks and thoughts: Year 6 girls say thanks ?? Year 6 girls explain how the new playground is better than the old one Year 6 girls demonstrate some impressive gymnastics using new apparatus! Year 6 boys explain what they like about the new playground Year 4 pupils say thanks and explains what they ‘love’ about the new playground Year 2 pupils explain which apparatus they like best and why

And here’s a montage of the children enjoying the playground – climbing, swinging, balancing, generally racing about having a fantastic time while feeding their minds and bodies.

It’s all been brilliantly designed and installed by Touchwood Play who work with what children ‘do’ to create nature inspired play areas working with nature already there, importantly in our case the iconic Big Red tree.

So, this is of course all fantastic! And we continue to work towards the full transformation as and when funds allow …

Next up

· Installing artificial grass in the 'quiet area' of the Cotham Grove main playground (the old adventure playground area where the climbing frame was removed) as a quiet area where children can sit, eat, play with lego etc

· Longer term aim is to install a Multi-Use Games Area (MUGA) in the current football area of the main CG playground.

Our heartfelt thanks to go to all of our playground donors and supporters

· The Amazing school community of Cotham Gardens Primary 2017/18 who worked so hard to fundraise that year in so many different and imaginative ways – children, parents and staff alike

· Cotham Gardens Primary PTAF and supporters

· Our Anonymous Major Donors

Local businesses and community including:

· Simon Porter Tennis

· Gai Carter Massage Therapist

· Richard Harding Estate Agents

· Belle and Boo

· Bannatynes

· City Hall – Bristol City Council

· Co-op

 

 

If you would like to know more or get involved in supporting this ongoing project please contact Adam Sheldon, Business Manager via the school office on tel 0117 377 2610 or email office@cothamgardens.co.uk