School pupils at a housing development in Cambridge have been given a new home with a difference thanks to a donation of play equipment.
Affordable housing provider bpha handed over the new playground fittings – including an outdoor playhouse – to Orchard Park Community Primary School in Arbury Park, last week.
The occasion was marked with a balloon race, with 100 balloons released from the school playground into the skies over Cambridge. Over the coming weeks pupils will be eagerly waiting to find out whose balloon travels the furthest as the race labels are returned to the school.
The new play equipment has been donated to the school by bpha and the other affordable housing providers working at Arbury – Places for People, The Papworth Trust and King Street Housing Society.
The housing associations are working to provide more than 280 new affordable homes at Arbury – a mixture of properties for social rent and shared ownership.
As part of their commitment to the development, the affordable housing providers have set aside a fund to support community initiatives. A total of £2,177 was awarded to help equip the school’s playground following an appeal for support.
Julia Holmes, new communities manager at bpha, said: “As well as providing new homes we are committed to supporting residents and others involved in new developments, such as Arbury, to create active and thriving new communities.
“Local schools play a vital role in the life of any community and we are delighted to be able to support Orchard Park Community Primary with this new equipment. Given that we provide housing, including the playhouse in the donation seemed rather appropriate!”
Jenny Russon, headteacher at Orchard Park Primary School, said: “We are extremely grateful to bpha for their generous support in providing much needed equipment for our school.
“The new playhouse is a wonderful resource for our pupils. Not only will it give the children hours of endless enjoyment, it will also encourage imaginative and co-operative learning.
“The official opening of the playhouse was marked with great excitement as the children watched their balloons soar into the blue sky.”
bpha employs a dedicated community development officer who is based at Arbury and works with residents as they move in to help them to settle in, meet their neighbours and find out about local groups and other services.
To find out more about shared ownership opportunities at Arbury Park, contact bpha’s sales and marketing team, Keyhomes East,on 0845 456 6757 or by visiting www.keyhomes-east.org.uk