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New outdoor play space for the Neighbourhood Resource Centre

The Neighbourhood Resource Centre on Ventnor Street now has a new beautiful outdoor play and garden space for the whole community to enjoy thanks to our Better Place project.

After extensive consultation and planning between the Better Place team, the Centre and the local community, plans were put in place to improve the outdoor area. The project was put on hold due to the COVID-19 restrictions and the impact the pandemic had on the construction industry, however work finally began in May 2021 to create a beautiful outdoor oasis.

It now boasts an open play area with chalk boards, drawing boards and play mirrors on the wall, artificial grass, and an allotment space with raised planting beds and seating areas. The whole area is surrounded by metal fretwork panels, featuring Islamic-inspired patterns designed by local mums. The walls have mosaics featuring the national flower of Bangladesh, the Shapla Lily, which was designed by the mums of a Bangladeshi Mums and Tots group who use the centre.

Humayun Islam, Project Director at the Neighbourhood Resource Centre, said:

Our community is blown away by this new outdoor area. The play area and garden will make a massive difference to our community, providing a safe space and probably the only garden space for many of our service users. This is the biggest thing ever to happen to our centre and will provide lots of opportunities to improve people's mental health and well-being.

Shazuna Ali, Project Worker, BEAP and creator of the Bangladeshi Mums and Tots Group said:

This outdoor space means that mums and tots have a safe place where they can not only come and enjoy the sensory play area, but get to be social with other mums and small children.

Gill Thornton, our Head of Programme, said:

Working with the Neighbourhood Resource Centre and the community has been such a positive experience for our Better Place project. Because we had that community involvement right from the beginning, it really helped us design and implement a truly bespoke scheme. Together we have created a safe, beautiful space to encourage families with little ones and the wider community to gather together, play and enjoy the outdoors.

Thanks to this project, the Neighbourhood Resource Centre will be growing their own produce and cooking with it. They will also be delivering outside arts and craft sessions and they will be running lots of fun outdoor activities for babies, toddlers and many other groups will also be able to enjoy the space.

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