Playground planning is child's play

Pupils from Holme Valley Primary’s School Council show British Steel Occupational Health Manager Sharon Smith their designs for an outdoor gym.
Pupils from Holme Valley Primary’s School Council show British Steel Occupational Health Manager Sharon Smith their designs for an outdoor gym.

A group of schoolchildren who raised £7,000 to develop an outdoor gym in their school playground has been given a cash boost from British Steel.

The pupils came up with the idea themselves to install a gym at Holme Valley Primary School in Bottesford. They measured out the space, designed a gym to fit their needs, and after calculating the costs they raised £7,000 by running enterprise projects in school.

Now a £2,000 award from British Steel’s Building Stronger Communities programme will provide the remaining cash required to make the project a reality. The Building Stronger Communities programme provides financial and in-kind support to charities and non-profit organisations to help support the economic and social wellbeing of the areas in which British Steel operates.

“Our Community Steering Group was so impressed with the time and effort the children had put into this project, we really felt they deserved our support,” said British Steel Occupational Health Manager and Community Steering Group member, Sharon Smith.

“Not only will the new play equipment help to improve the health and wellbeing of pupils at the school for many years to come, but the project has also challenged the children’s business and entrepreneurial skills. As a significant employer in the North Lincolnshire area we know how important it is for youngsters to develop these skills.

“To plan this project from the outset and raise a significant sum of money using their own skills is really impressive and will stand them in good stead for the world of work.”

Outdoor gyms are similar to gyms found in leisure centres but are specially designed for use in open spaces and to give their users the added benefits of exercising outdoors. Work to install the gym at Holme Valley Primary School will take place during February half term.

School Council Vice-Treasurer Lily Scott (11), was one of the youngsters involved in bringing the project to fruition.

She said: “We all decided we wanted this gym to help improve our health and wellbeing so we organised lots of fundraising activities including fairs and a bingo event. We’d like to say thank you to everyone who has supported our fundraising. Now we have all the money our gym can be installed and we can all stay fit and healthy by using it during playtime and in PE lessons.”

Anyone who would like more information about the British Steel Building Stronger Communities programme can visit the community section of our website.

Holme Valley Primary School Head Teacher Rachel Stephenson, said: “Thank you to British Steel for supporting the children and helping them to complete their project.

“The children were determined to have an outdoor gym installed at the school to help them become more active during the school day. They have driven the gym project and it has helped the pupils develop a range of skills from maths to communication, in a real life context.

“Now thanks to the support from British Steel, the gym will be installed and available to use, by the whole school community at the end of February.”