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Wooden Spoon staff answer DIY SOS

CHILDREN and families at a Surrey hospice have an exciting new place to play thanks to a one-day DIY project involving staff from Wooden Spoon’s central office.

Workers from the children’s charity of rugby headed to Christopher’s Shooting Star Chase in Guildford to transform a barren patch of grassland into a wheelchair-accessible recreation area in just eight hours.

Under the expert guidance of seven ex-military mentors from leadership and development company Fusion Community Initiatives, the team joined forces with hospice volunteers to construct facilities including a 50-metre decked Wooden Spoon Walk, a playhouse and an outdoor classroom area.

Wooden Spoon staff help Christopher’s Shooting Star Chase

The completed project is already proving an invaluable asset to many of the 700-plus families supported by Christopher’s Shooting Star Chase and the organisation’s Head of Care CHR, Geraldine Sheedy, was full of praise for everyone who helped to make it a reality.

She said: “The team were respectful to the sensitive needs of the environment they were working in and showed compassion and understanding to the children and their families, encouraging them to observe what was happening in the garden and, where appropriate participate in the project.

“We now have an outdoor classroom, a wonky playhouse and an amazing sensory walkway for the children and families to enjoy when they come to stay at Christopher’s. This will add to the opportunities available for play and memory making.”

Wooden Spoon’s involvement in the project began with a planning meeting ahead of an 8:30am start on the day. Volunteers were then briefed by their mentors before setting to work on laying the foundations for the walkway, sawing timber to the required lengths and even building the playhouse.

Eight hours of hard work later and the space had been transformed, with the Wooden Spoon Walk curving through the recreation area and flanked by colourful sensory tunnels and kitchen garden planters.

Jai Purewal, the charity’s former Director of Rugby and Community Investment, explained that it was a pleasure for Wooden Spoon staff to get the opportunity to experience the installation of such a worthy scheme.

He added: “To be part of the team that in one day delivered the wonderful playground to the children at Christopher’s is something really special. Add to that the ‘spice’ of being under the watchful eye of the Fusion team and their exacting military standards and it makes for a truly unique experience.”

To get involved with a project like this contact Ian Lindsay on ilindsay@woodenspoon.org.uk.