Inclusive playpark campaigners hit fundraising target

Campbeltown mum Iona MacLean and Councillor Donald Kelly have been campaigning to make Jock's Adventure Playground more inclusive.
Campbeltown mum Iona MacLean and Councillor Donald Kelly have been campaigning to make Jock's Adventure Playground more inclusive.

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By Hannah O’Hanlon

Plans to make a Campbeltown playpark more inclusive are one step closer to reality after campaigners smashed their fundraising target.

Campbeltown mum Iona MacLean, who has been behind the initiative, fund-raising, and cajoling others to help out, has thanked everyone involved in raising more than £13,000.

This means that inclusive equipment can now be bought for Jock’s Adventure Playground.

‘I’d like to thank all the businesses who have supported the project for their generosity and the town for getting behind this cause and showing their support,’ Iona said.

‘Thanks must also go to Councillor Donald Kelly as without him none of this would have been possible and also Campbeltown Community Council and Catherine Dobbie for their input.’

The team secured various donations from local businesses including £100 from Olfactory Candles, £150 from Glen Scotia Distillery, £250 from the owners of Davaar Island and £400 from Wee Toon Carver John Brown, who auctioned a 46-inch eagle carving to help raise money.

A further £2,500 came from the Campbeltown Common Good Fund and there was a contribution from the Rotary Club of Campbeltown, both of which Catherine Dobbie applied for on behalf of Campbeltown Community Council.

Various sponsored events also boosted the total, including a bike ride and MOKRUN performance by Emma Ramsay, which raised £465, and a five-kilometre walk by a team of Highland dancers which made £1,427.

More than £1,600 was received through donations to an online fundraising page and almost £6,000 through other forms of fundraising, cash donations and raffles organised by Iona with prizes donated from local businesses.

Iona had noticed that many playparks in Campbeltown and surrounding villages lacked equipment for children with less ability while visiting them with her seven-year-old daughter Esmie and four-year-old son Lyle, who has autism.

After being told it would cost between £22,000 and £25,000 to install a swing-set with an adapted seat with straps on one side and a wheelchair accessible swing on the other at Jock’s Adventure Playground, Iona contacted South Kintyre councillor Donald Kelly and Campbeltown Community Council for assistance.

Councillor Kelly secured a pledge of £10,000 towards the cost of the project from ScottishPower Renewables’ Beinn an Tuirc 3 construction team, dependent on the community being able to raise the remaining balance.

Having raised more than £13,000 of the remaining £12,000 to £15,000 required, Iona has transferred all money to Campbeltown Community Council which will trigger the release of the £10,000 donation from ScottishPower Renewables.

The community council will liaise with Argyll and Bute Council, which owns the playpark, and will order the play equipment, hopefully soon.

When installed, the council will be responsible for insuring and maintaining the equipment.

Councillor Kelly said: ‘Iona has put a tremendous amount of work into this project and must be congratulated for her efforts thus far. Also the support from Catherine from the community council has been very much appreciated.

‘Yet again, our fantastic community has rallied to the cause and hopefully in the not-too-distant future the new all-inclusive play equipment will be installed at the park.’

With one raffle still live and some donations still coming in from funders, the plan for any money raised above the cost of completing the project, which is still to be confirmed, will be used for maintenance of the equipment and playpark.

Tickets for the raffle, which has almost 50 incredible prizes some of which are worth as much as £200, are still available.

To enter the prize draw, transfer £1 to directly to Iona using the following bank account details: Name: Mrs Iona-Marie MacLean; Account number: 10417961; Sort code: 80-45-68.