Wednesday 21st September 2022 saw the opening of the new Sark School Playground where residents and visitors alike were welcomed to watch the new Head of Sark School, Michelle Brady, cut the ribbon. Friends of Sark School (FOSS) has been working on this project for the past year and, with funding from the Guernsey Community Foundation, Social Investment Fund (SIF), Skipton Community Fund, Investec Bank CI Community Donations, Co-operative Community Fund, Island Electrics, Rock Trustees, Style Heating & Plumbing, Sark Bonfire Night Charity and other local businesses and individuals, they were able to make it a reality.
Rosalie La Trobe-Bateman, Chair of FoSS, spoke at the event:
“As most great ideas are borne, it was over a drink one evening that our former head of School, Dr. Nick Roberts and Adam Turner decided to raise some money for outdoor play equipment. Many of you here today will remember the epic running challenge that the two of them completed, which kick-started this whole project. A big thank you to everyone who supported that run, including Rock Trustees, Island Electrics and Style Heating and Plumbing.
Our former acting Head, Nick Wolfe, then picked up the baton and encouraged FoSS to develop the project further. The feeling was, if we are going to do this, let’s do it right. Working with the teachers and the pupils, we designed our dream playground, not knowing then if it would truly be feasible. (Spoiler alert: turns out it was!)
With plans in place, the fundraising began… Countless evenings were spent filling out application forms for various grants, of which were lucky enough to receive significant funding from The Guernsey Community Foundation and Small Investment Fund. Without their contributions this project would not have been possible. Other grantgivers included Skipton Community Fund, Investec Bank Community Donations and the Co-operative Community Fund. We thank them all.
FoSS also held local fundraising events, most memorable being the charity Casino Night. Who knew we had such skilled game dealers among us! Thank you to our fantastic team of volunteer decorators, game dealers, cashier ladies and the hostesses of the Captain’s Bar. Same again next year? We also received generous donations from the Sark Bonfire Night Charity, Time & Tide and private individuals.
With funding secured, we were able to press go and purchase the equipment you see here today, all lovingly installed by LTB Building Co., who has sworn, for the second time now, that they are never installing a playground again.
However, the play equipment turned out to be the easy part in comparison to the logistical nightmare that we faced in getting the wet-pour surfacing men and their equipment here. Many a favour was called in and we are very grateful to Sark Shipping, Jimmy’s Carting, Jordan, Sam and Jeremy for helping us out. I’m sure you would all agree that the duo from Specialised Sports Products did a fantastic and professional job.
All in all, this project has been a whole Bailiwick community effort and it is a wonderful example of what can be achieved by building strong relationships and working together. With that said, FoSS is delighted to officially hand over the playground to the school and children. May it bring many years of enjoyment for all! Please welcome our new Head of School, Michelle Brady, to come up and cut the ribbon.”