Sidlesham’s new Outdoor Gym with grateful thanks to Tesco Bags of Help Scheme
Following a request from the Parish Council in 2015, Sidlesham Community Association stepped up to the mark to help in raising funds for Outdoor Gym Equipment on the Memorial Playing Field for use by Sidlesham residents and the wider Manhood Peninsula to encourage the health and wellbeing of the community. Following a village survey by Sidlesham Parish Council to ascertain the need for this community project the Council set aside £4,100 towards the £13,000+ needed for HAGS sports equipment. Sidlesham Parish Council already had rights of suitable land given to the Parish for recreation purposes via a Deed of Covenant dated 1956 between the Minister of Agriculture Fisheries and Food and the Parish of Sidlesham. Although a suitable site was available next to the Children’s Playground on the Council Memorial Playing Field, the project stalled as the Council’s efforts to acquire further grants were unsuccessful.
As a registered charitable incorporated organisation, Sidlesham Community Association, were eligible to apply to Tesco Bags of Help Scheme for the balance required to complete the project and were absolutely delighted to be nominated by Tesco to receive £8,000 for this long awaited community plan. Installation is now complete and the gym was formally opened on 25th February when a plaque was unveiled by staff from Tesco and Groundwork. Sidlesham Community Association and Sidlesham Parish Councillors were in attendance as well as representatives from Chichester District Council and West Sussex County Council to thank Tesco and Groundwork for their Bags of Help Scheme who were instrumental in bringing this project to fruition.
The eight pieces of sturdy outdoor gym equipment were specifically selected to encourage a wide range of users from all age groups – teenagers, parents supervising their children using the adjacent playground and not forgetting senior citizens and the disabled who may need more static exercise due to walking difficulties and thus promoting fitness and exercise and combating obesity as constantly repeated by Government and health advisors in the media.
This superb new community asset, installed by co-operation between the Parish Council and
Sidlesham Community Association with major funding by Tesco is free for all to use on an easily accessible site with good parking facilities and brings together our community through exercise and wellbeing and will be maintained for future use by the Parish Council.
Councillor Corina Hall had worked on this project for five years, collating views from other Councils who had installed such equipment, obtaining brochures and ascertaining maintenance charges. When the project was finally agreed by Parish Councillors in May 2015 the next step was to find funding, which was no easy task. Several Parish Councillors organised a French Evening in the village and raised a further £500 and one local resident donated £100. Numerous grants were applied for without success before The Tesco Bags of Help Scheme came to the attention of Sidlesham Community Association.
In September 2016 Tesco replied that Sidlesham Community Association’s application had been nominated to receive one of three large grants, but even the smallest of the grants £8,000 was sufficient to pay for the majority of the equipment. With a balance of only £1,000 required to complete the project, the Parish Council applied again to Chichester District Council for the balance which this time was agreed. HAGS (the suppliers) had provided a quote as far back as 2012 but they kindly maintained their price quote.
Sidlesham Community Association and Sidlesham Parish Council hope that this gift to our community will improve the health and wellbeing of all and are very grateful to Tesco for their grant.
Richard Hall, Chairman of Sidlesham Community Association