New school & community play & growing space

New school & community play & growing space Image

A new dual-use school/community play and growing space, formally named Pitkerro ‘Pirate’ Park, has been opened to the public.

This is the first purpose built dual-use play and growing space developed in the city and is a superb example of multi-disciplinary partnership working between Dundee City Council, NHS Tayside, Play Scotland and the local community.

The installation of the new space follows extensive consultation and engagement with the local community to support good quality play experiences for Rowantree Primary School and the children and families living in the surrounding area.

The concept evolved from a child healthy weight multi-agency partnership in the East End community aimed at encouraging children and families living in the Rowantree area to “Eat Well, Play Well and Learn Well”.

The Child Healthy Weight Approach (Learn Well) involved the children, families and staff at Rowantree Primary School to shape and design the play space, which is to be used by the school during the day, and opened to the community after school, weekends and during the school holidays.

Neighbourhood Services Depute Convener Councillor Christina Roberts said: “It’s wonderful to see the facilities being officially opened up to the local community. I know they’ll be put to great use.

“The project is an excellent example of partnership working and provides enjoyable health and wellbeing opportunities outside for children and young people.”

Children and Families Service Convener Councillor Stewart Hunter said: “It’s very positive to see how the consultation with the local community and working with partner agencies has created this amazing facility and new ways of encouraging children to play outside, learn outdoors as well as sparking and interest in food growing.

“It’s important that we continue to provide children with the opportunities to get outside and stay healthy. This project encourages children to be active, connect with nature and to enjoy the outdoors and will help us all work together to contribute to the Scottish Government’s target of reducing childhood obesity by 50% by 2030.”

Jenny Gillespie, Senior Health Promotion Officer for NHS Tayside Public Health Team said, “The Pitkerro Pirate Playspace shines a light on the importance of working alongside local communities who can make change happen. It is fantastic to see this dual use play and community growing area being opened in the East End of Dundee.

“Development of this wonderful new asset was kick started back in 2016 when local children, young people and families became involved in the ‘Eat, Play, Learn Well’ approach that sought to explore what elements of the local environment could be altered to influence health and wellbeing in a positive way.

“Five years on this playspace is more important than ever. We can’t wait to see the positive impact this will make to the local community.”

The new play area caters for all ages and abilities, with particular focus on 5 to 12-year olds.

The new provision includes fixed-play equipment and open-ended landscape features, such as grass mounds, boulders, balancing logs, wooden platforms and varied tree & shrub plantings, which encourages physical activity, exploration, discovery and a connection with biodiversity and the natural world.

The park also includes wheelchair accessible footpaths and support access. The space has also been set aside for Rowantree Primary School and the local community to explore and develop further growing initiatives into the future.

The Eat, Play, Learn Well approach has been a workstream for the council’s Children and Families Service in their work in the Scottish Attainment Challenge, with the aim of improving health and wellbeing outcomes.

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