In 2019, Caldmore Community Garden ran a community consultation exercise, asking local people about what facilities and activities were needed in the neighbourhood. The consultation flagged lack of activities and safe spaces for younger children. This led to the idea of starting new projects such as a weekly Caldmore Tots group and re-developing the Community Garden’s playground to make it better and more accessible to children aged up to five.
The playground project was started by the local community who raised £2,000 through a range of community events during February and March 2020.
The playground was completed thanks to awards from the People's Post Code Trust of £2,750 and £5,300 from the National Lottery.
The project was completed late last year and formal openings were hit by COVID restrictions which forced the Caldmore Community Garden to be closed due to the lockdowns.
Councillor Mike Bird, Leader of Walsall Council and Councillor Adrian Andrew, Deputy Leader of Walsall Council, were invited to formally open the refurbished playground.
Councillor Bird said:
“This is a fantastic facility right in the heart of the community and provides a meaningful escape from life’s stresses and strains.”
Councillor Andrew shared his love of gardening with the volunteers and said:
“The mixture of skills learned from the users was unequalled anywhere else in the Borough. I would also pay tribute to all of the volunteers who continue to give their time freely for the benefit of all of the users especially those disabled members of the community.”
Mohammed Arif, Chairman of Caldmore Community Garden which oversees the Caldmore Community Garden and Community House, said:
"The formal opening has come at a great time when more and more parents with young children are looking for playground facilities with open space. I want to extend my thanks to the committed group of volunteers and local community members for raising and donating the £2,000.
“The People's Post Code Trust and the National Lottery have been brilliant in supporting the facilities at the Community Garden. The land is owned by whg and the house is leased from Walsall Council. It was great to show the Council Leader and Deputy Leader the transformation the garden and the house have gone through in the years since they previously visited.
“Caldmore Village Festival is grateful for the continued support of Walsall Council and whg and appreciate the formal opening by the Council's Leadership team.”
Council Leader, Cllr. Mike Bird, Deputy Leader, Cllr. Adrian Andrew, Mohammed Arif, Chair of Caldmore Village Festival Group, Keith Stone, Vice-Chair of CVF, Anna Rogozinska, CVF Development Worker and Fiona Kells, CVF Executive Committee Member.