TIW’s Community Support Project
Recently TIW volunteered to assist Marham village pre-school in revamping their outside play areas.
With 20 children enrolled within the pre-school along with five staff plus volunteers, the necessity for a suitable outdoor play area was becoming more apparent. The school aims to provide a warm, caring, fun atmosphere where the child can play, socialise and learn to value other children and adults. This requires safe working and play environment in which the children can interact with the staff, carers and parents and ‘play with a purpose’ in order to develop their personal and social skills, literacy and mathematical ability amongst a host of other personal attributes.
Cpl Steve Page, who is on the Marham pre-school committee, asked for volunteers from TIW to assist and give their time, eight personnel showed an interest in helping.
Favours were called in to obtain a whole host of tools and supplies, be it simple sandpaper or power washers, and people were more than willing to help. The work varied considerably, from basic gardening and a general tidy up, to sanding and painting the fencing and decking throughout the play area. With the sun shining down on the workers, the military cliché of ‘free phys’ was getting shouted around which got pretty old pretty quickly but led to a lot of jokes and banter flying round.
It took time for things to take shape, with brushes, garden shears and debris scattered everywhere on the first day, but slowly but surely the play area began to take shape with the young children expressing their curiosity in the work during playtime and the staff appearing happy and impressed with the improvements.
Sandra Ball (Marham Pre-School manager) said… “The guys have transformed our garden. Both the children and staff are really pleased with our new look garden. It is something we did not have time to do ourselves so we really appreciate all their hard work. Thank you so much.”
Overall, the experience was a worthwhile one, with the guys able to support their local community; the added advantage of working outdoors in the sun always being welcomed, and the guys have already expressed interest in going down on a regular basis in order to continuously make the outdoor play area a safe and enjoyable experience for the children.