We often get asked the same questions, so we thought we’d put together a FAQ to answer some of them. If your answer isn’t here, please do let us know!
Q: How much do you need to raise?
A: We are looking to raise enough to replace the whole playground so that we can address layout issues, such as where the swings are located and create dedicated “zones” such as a toddler zone. This option will make the best use of the space and costs approximately £110,000. To date, we have raised £93,000.
Q: How are you planning to fund the project?
Phase 1 of our fundraising was the Spacehive crowdfund which raised £13,500. As a newly established unincorporated association we decided a crowdfund was the best way to spread the word to the people of Wanstead and the surrounding areas and kick off our fundraising. We had to raise initial funding in order to be able to register with the Charity Commission and this then unlocks a lot of doors in terms of being able to apply for bigger grants for which we have to prove a need and interest in the project from the community and having almost 200 financial supporters really does that.
Due to the success of the first phase of the crowdfunding we decided to launch an increased target for the crowdfund (we called it phase 2) of £26,000 which included the money already raised from phase 1 and £2,710 from Tesco Express Wanstead.
B) Fundraising Events
We held our first fundraising event, a Singalong Frozen, in March, raising over £400. Two more Singalong Frozen events were held in April & June. Wanstead Comedy Nights in March and July were held in aid of the playground and raised £1,400. Our Black Tie gala dinner in June raised £5,000. A number of other events organised by third parties in our favour added valuable funds to our total.
We have applied to a large number of grants that were available to us based on eligibility criteria. To date, we have been awarded almost £55,000 from charitable trusts and foundations.
Q: Why isn’t Redbridge / Vision paying for this?
A: It’s widely known that Redbridge Council have to make approximately £70m of cuts over the next few years and there are proposed cuts in services, including many that will affect children Redbridge-wide such as children centres, Redbridge Music Services and many, many other areas. Following discussions with the Council we understand there was no way that any major changes would be made to the playground without the community coming together to contribute to this happening. Obviously everyone thinks the services that they use are the ones that are essential but there simply isn’t enough money for the Council to do everything the residents want.
Q: Why did you do a crowd fund as the fees seem high?
A: We formed Wanstead Playground Association after we heard about the crowd fund for the Christmas Tree. We thought ‘if people will pledge that much for a temporary Christmas tree, surely they’d pledge for a playground which will be around for ages?’ We researched the different crowd funding platforms and went to a couple of seminars and Spacehive really stood out as the most appropriate for this project. The fees are 5% of the total project and this includes the verification fee and are competitive within the crowdfunding market. The project needs to be verified to show that we’re not going to run off with the money. Spacehive’s fees are actually lower than many other platforms for example, Just Giving, one of the most widely used fundraising sites, charge 5% as well as a monthly subscription of £15.
We actually received a lot of support and advice from Spacehive and for the fees paid we believe it represented value for money, given that compared to other professional services, the cost was equivalent to an hour or two of a lawyer or accountant’s time!
Q: Can I Gift Aid my donation?
A: We are able to reclaim Gift Aid on donations which will enable us to request a further 25p for every £1 of donations received, through tax relief from the Government. If you haven’t completed a Gift Aid Declaration and returned it to us, please download a Gift Aid Declaration form here
Q: When will the new equipment be installed?
A: In terms of the work scheduling, it makes more financial sense to do as much as possible at the same time as that minimises mobilisation costs so we can buy more equipment with the money rather than paying to get workmen on site and closing the playground multiple times.
We are in negotiations with Vision RCL and Redbridge with a view to ordering the equipment in February and being installed between April and May. We envisage that the new playground will be up and running by Summer half term.
Q: Why are the parks in Walthamstow / Hackney / Newham so much better than the ones in Redbridge?
A: The other boroughs all have large centres of commerce such as City Airport, Westfield, Excel, which provide a significant amount of business rates. Redbridge doesn’t have any notable commercial centre to provide the business rates which is why our residential council tax is higher than other boroughs.
Q: Who is going to design and build the playground?
A: As the playground is on a Council owned site the equipment must be provided and installed by one of the Council’s approved suppliers. Given the nature of the equipment, safety is paramount so using such contractors ensures the equipment meets the strict safety criteria and these suppliers have a proven track record in terms of their equipment and working with Redbridge. It is also important as the Council will be responsible for maintaining the playground once installed and it will be covered by their insurance.
Q: Can I see the proposed plans?
A: There are a number of plans from the approved supplier list and the final design is subject to the total funds raised and Vision RCL’s sign off and so there may be some changes in the final pieces that are installed, although they will be of the same nature. We conducted a survey in February 2016 through our donors, mailing list, local Facebook groups and online media. Our response to the survey can be found here: WPA – Response to Design Consultation 2016.
An illustrative design is provided below.
Q: Are you going to put in any equipment for disabled children?
A: Yes. Play equipment has come a long, long way since the existing playground was designed. The idea is to get as much variety of play from it as possible and much of this will make it much more accessible to children with additional needs. We are also in the process of forming a sub committee to advise us on access needs and this is being co-ordinated by a local mum whose child has complex sensory issues.
Q: How can I get involved?
A: In a number of ways! At the moment, we’re particularly looking for someone with event management experience or someone who’d be happy to man a stall. At the moment we’re all juggling this project in between childcare, so any offer of help, no matter how small would be fabulous!