I AM SERIOUSLY, EXTREMELY, VERY, CRAZILY, RIDICULOUSLY EXCITED!!!
Perhaps I just need to calm down a minute and take a few deep breaths…
Right that’s better. So what am I on about? Let me explain…
As some of you may know, I have been part of a group up here in Trevethin that was formed specifically to see the regeneration of the derelict playground that literally lies less than 10metres from my front door. When we moved here in 2007 there hadn’t been a playground here for over 12 years. The two-tier site where it used to be was essentially a desolate dumping ground for kids to kick a ball around in. Just before we arrived the next closest playground to us was also removed after it was damaged by a burned-out car. There are currently only 2 playgrounds on this entire estate (4,000 people) and both are a massive trek (down steep hills) from where we live. Neither is particularly modern or well equipped. What that means in reality is that there are only 4 swings, 2 slides and 1 see-saw to be shared between over 1000 children.
That’s just nuts!!
So when Michelle became pregnant with Josiah I decided that something had to change and so hooked up with the local councillors, the local Communities First workers and the manager of the Cold Barn Farm Youth Centre (where Hill City now meets!) Together, as a meaningful and united partnership we committed ourselves to consulting with the community and raising funds to provide the kids of Trevethin with an awesome play facility to enjoy. You can read more about the history and community consultation here.
Anyway, to cut a loooooong (2 years+) story short, thanks in a large part to the colossal effort of the team, and Shane from Communities First in particular, (as well as a shed-load of prayer from the Hill City Church mob!) we were informed just before Christmas that we had received £90,000 towards the infrastructural work that needed doing and the creation of a community garden on the lower tier of the site. However, as we braced ourselves for the contractors to start work on site this month, we still had no guaranteed funding with which to purchase the actual playground equipment for the top tier! What we did have, however, was an agonising wait to hear from the Big Lottery fund to see if we had been successful in our application to receive funding to provide both state-of-the-art play equipment for children of all ages, as well as salaries for community outreach workers to engage with the kids in community. All we were asking for was a mere £171,000!!! Well we found out today that
WE GOT THE MONEY!!!!!
Yep!!! All £171,000 has been granted, which is just immense! Many will see it as the result of a lot of hard work and dedication from a bunch of fantastically committed people – and they would be right. However, as a Christian who passionately believes that EVERY good gift comes from the hand of God, I have to say that ultimately this money has come from the LORD and so I’m quite content to give Him all the glory – cos He’s worthy of it! I’m thrilled as a member of the team. I’m thrilled that Hill City Church was part of the process. And I’m also thrilled as a dad cos I’m soon going to be able to take my kids to play out the front of the house! I’m just buzzin about that!!
So as the contractors roll in on Monday morning, my family, along with many other excited residents will be able to watch the day-by-day creation of answered prayer and a dream fulfilled!
Thank you Jesus!!