Earl of Pembroke open community playground at Barford St Martin

The Barford St Martin Community Fund committee, which was set up last January (2022) to raise funds to create
a new playground in this small south Wiltshire village, has achieved the extraordinary feat of raising £80,000 in just
eight months.
To celebrate this success,
the Earl of Pembroke joined Barford St Martin residents recently to cut the ribbon and declare that the playground was officially open for business.
The Earl told the assembled crowd that this was an amazing achievement, and that he was hugely impressed that the committee and village community had got together to raise such a substantial sum in such a very short time.
Morag Walker, chair of the Barford Community Fund, introduced and welcomed the Earl to the celebrations and said: “For a small village like Barford to have raised nearly £80,000 in just under eight months, it has been recognised as an extraordinary achievement and demonstrates that our village has a tremendous depth of character and a strong beating heart.”
She continued: “I would like to take this opportunity to thank the many people, businesses, Barford Parish Council and the fantastic village community who came together to support our vision to raise funds to install a new playground in the village.”
She also recognised that this could not have been achieved without the support of many grant giving organisations, such as Barford’s own grant-giving charity, the Nicholson Trust, the Wiltshire Community Foundation, the Special Educational Needs Development fund and many more besides.
Nabil Najjar, councillor for the Chalke Valley also attended the opening ceremony. He has advised the committee on applying for grant funding through Wiltshire Council’s Area Board’s grant giving arm – not just once, but three times.
Cllr Najjar, said: “I am delighted that Wiltshire Council was able to provide over £8,000 to help make this playground a reality. I’m so proud of the community in Barford St Martin, and the amazing volunteers who put in so much time and effort over the past year.”
Now that the Barford St Martin Community Fund has completed the playground project, residents living in the village have identified that they would like the committee to raise funds to make space in an existing building in the village into a flexible community area.
This will involve installing toilet facilities and a kitchen, as well as versatile seating. Fund-raising has now started for this project, which means that village residents will have a local community space for film shows, playgroups, attending talks, yoga classes and more.
It will be a very adaptable and usable space where residents can organise events that will appeal to all.

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