Anyone who has been to Challengers Playcentre in Guildford will be familiar with the large, colourful playground structure which takes up much of the outdoor space.
When it was installed over 20 years ago, the playground was one of its kind as it provided wheelchair access across a high platform, resulting in it becoming an iconic feature of Challengers. In fact, many people know of Challengers because of the playground, as it can be seen from the road by Stoke Park and has also been featured on ITV news.
So many children have enjoyed the playground over the years, but sadly now is the time for us to say goodbye to it. It has served us well for more than 20 years (much longer than playgrounds typically last!), though it is has recently fallen into a state of disrepair.
The playground will be removed at the end of July, pathing the way for a new-look outdoor space which we will hopefully be building in Summer 2022.
While we have many fond memories of the fun times that the playground gave us and will be sad to see it go, we are excited to be gaining a large, versatile outdoor play area where children and young people can play freely – whether that’s zooming around on bikes, playing hide and seek, or having water fights to cool down in the summer.
We have conducted significant research into what kind of structure or space is right for us to install next by seeking parent feedback and observing how the children use the outdoor play space to play, in addition to visiting multiple playgrounds in the area to research to understand what will best suit children at Challengers.
Our aim is that the new playground will enable children and young people to explore many different types of play; promoting friendship, independence and accessibility. It will also be used as an additional learning space for the Guildford Pre-school.