A COMMUNITY has rallied together to raise thousands of pounds to build its first ever playground.

Residents of Richings Park banded together to form the Richings Park Village Action Group (RPVAG), with the purpose of leading the way on community projects to improve the village. Their first project, that was done in conjunction with the Richings Park Residents Association, and Richings Park Sports Club, was to raise funds to build a village playground.

The village has almost 700 family homes, yet due to lack of land there has never been a playground for children.

Through raffles, charity events, firework displays and contributions from businesses the groups managed to raise significant amounts towards the playground. A watershed moment was when the project received £39,960 from HS2’s Community Environment Fund (CEF), which was set up to improve communities that will be affected by the construction of the railway. Richings Park Sports Club has now provided land for the new playground to be built on.

It is expected to be complete before the summer, with building work starting around May.

Graham Young, chairman of the residents’ association, said: “The families of Richings Park Village have been crying out for a playground for years.

“The hard work and commitment to fund raising of the residents through the RPVAG has shown how important the playground will be to the future of Richings Park.

“We need a playground to promote an active and social upbringing for children in the village. This is an important cornerstone in making Richings Park a better place to live.

“We are all over the moon with HS2’s CEF support.”

One member of the RPVAG, Ged Weston, said that it was just the beginning of their improvements.

He said: “We’re raising money for a defibrillator for the village, and will be holding a summer fete to launch the playground. We’re also putting on another gala dinner later in the year, and will be lobbying in the council for repairs to the potholes.”

Iver Parish Council has agreed to undertake the maintenance of the playground once it is complete.