14 Rutherford members came out in force giving real practical help to the Castle School in Cambridge at the end of May 2018. In six days we gave over a hundred hours of support and with a donation from Trinity College, in memory of Lady Adrian a founding member of the school, along with Cambridge building firm Morgan Sindall's amazing sponsorship and help, we've made a real difference and achieved a lasting legacy for young people, staff and carers at the school.
Last year a group of us visited the school to see for ourselves the poor and neglected condition much of the outdoor equipment had become. Benches had rotted seats, climbing wall and activity areas were dangerous and nearly everything looked shabby and sad. The scale of the task seemed daunting and needed more skills than even Rutherford could muster.
In stepped Morgan Sindall who were looking for a project for their staff volunteering 'Neighbourhood Week' - a perfect fit - they supplied over 25 staff during six days including skilled carpenters and trades people as well lots of office support staff who all mucked in with us. In addition to this they sponsored and pulled in favours from their suppliers to donate paint (lots of paint) timber and other materials including a skip and a bbq!
So as we look back this is what we achieved:
Benches - all rotting tops removed, replaced and painted. Theatre - cleaned, painted and seating replaced. Climbing walls - cleaned and painted, rotting climbing wall posts replaced. Playground amphitheatre seating - all rotting and dangerous wood removed and replaced and painted. Wooden fences in play areas - all cleaned and repainted. Pergola - rotting uprights replaced and braced, broken slats replaced, new seats installed and all painted. Swings and slide area - all cleaned and looking loved again. Poles and walking logs area - rotting parts replaced, all cleaned, weeded and painted. Fort - broken floor replaced, walk ways weeded and tidied up, inside turrets painted. And lots of general tidying sweeping and weeding etc.
The Castle Fort before and after
In total all the decomissioned and dangerous outdoor play equipment is back in fully working order and looking wonderful - a brilliant achievement.
We had the following message from Carol McCarthy, Head Teacher at the Castle School:
"Thank you so much for all you did this week, it has made such a difference to our school and the children are so pleased to see everything looking so smart. This is a wonderful community effort and brings an enormous benefit to our school family. The chidren have been so excited to be able to play on the 'Castle' again and our summer activities can now include the amphitheatre. It's wonderful."
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