School playground makeover is on track

School playground makeover is on track

Manor Green College in Crawley has undergone a DIY S.O.S-style transformation thanks to three companies working on the Thameslink rail improvement programme.

Students and staff returning to school after the October half-term break were surprised to find their playground had been transformed into a sensitively-designed space that is safe and fun to be in.

The improvements include a new cycle track for play and road safety lessons, benches, burgundy tarmac and gates. The team also painted fences, refurbished playground equipment, replanted shrubs, cleared out a pond and made a raised vegetable bed. Inside the team also improved ventilation in one of the classrooms.

The transformation has been made possible by 40 volunteers from Network Rail, UK Power Networks Services and BPH Rail who took time out from the £6.5bn Thameslink Programme, which will improve capacity and reliability on the one of Europe’s busiest rail routes.

On November 4 the children of Manor Green College invited the volunteers to a small party celebrating the new surroundings. A number of students came into school a day early to bake some cakes and make sandwiches for the event.

Speaking at the launch of the new playground, Julie King, Deputy Principle of Manor Green College, said, “The work of the volunteers has completely transformed the play area for our students. The area has been enhanced, is now looking like new again and is safer and more secure. On behalf of the students and staff at the college we cannot thank you enough for all your hard work”.

Speaking on behalf of the Thameslink Programme, programme director, Barry Dilks, said: “Our aim is to not only improve the lives of commuters, but make a genuine difference to the local communities we’re working in.

“We’re proud to be able to help give the staff and students the environment they deserve. It’s been an absolute pleasure to spend time with the children and staff and I am sure all our volunteers will feel proud that we could provide such a wonderful improvement for some very special students”.

A video of the transformation in progress:

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