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Figures reveal thousands enjoyed free Burntwood Play in the Parks events

More than 3,200 people enjoyed a series of free events in Burntwood this summer, organisers have revealed.

Bromford neighbourhood coaches Anton Swindells and Gemma Davis with Councillor Heather Tranter (centre) at one of the Play in the Park events

Bromford neighbourhood coaches Anton Swindells and Gemma Davis with Councillor Heather Tranter (centre) at one of the Play in the Park events

The Play in the Parks initiative saw eight days of family fun during the school holidays.

Events included sack races, water fights, football, face painting and bouncy castles at give parks across the town.

An initiative between a local council and housing association to bring families together has resulted in more than 3,000 people flocking to a series of free community events in Burntwood this summer.

The scheme was created five years ago when Gemma Davis was tasked with helping to lower anti-social behaviour on the St Matthews estate. A pilot was launched and the scheme proved successful, leading to backing ever since from Burntwood Town Council and Bromford, who have since been joined by other community partners.

Gemma, now a neighbourhood coach at Bromford, said: “This hasn’t happened overnight and has been about people changing mind-sets and attitudes so that we’re focusing on the potential in our communities rather than on what’s wrong.

“Gradually as we’ve built trust with people, Play in the Parks has grown organically and as the various neighbourhoods come together we are seeing positive moves towards reducing things like anti-social behaviour.

“I’m immensely proud to see something I helped create now proving so popular and it’s been a delight to see parents and grandparents sitting and talking with each other whilst their children play and have water fights and just having simple family fun.”

Figures recently released by show a county-wide reduction in police-recorded youth-related anti-social behaviour incidents throughout Staffordshire, with a 41 per cent fall on last year – which was on top of a significant drop between 2016 and 2017.

Councillor Heather Tranter, deputy leader of Burntwood Town Council, added: “One of my big aims on re-election in 2015 was to provide more community events for Burntwood – and in the four years since Play in the Parks was born, it has grown into a massively popular event with the help and support of Gemma and Bromford, the town council and lots of partners in the community.

“Preparations are already underway to make next summer the best one yet and I would hope it would be continued for many more years to come.”

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1 Comment

  1. Rob

    19th October, 2018 at 11:32 am

    So that’s approximately 250 people each day.
    I wonder how many went to every one?