FAMILIES living in the Winnall flats can now meet outside in a safe and comfortable space at their local community centre.

The neglected outdoor space at Winnall community centre is now fit for purpose following a revamp by volunteers from the Winnall baby and toddler group.

The group, led by early years practitioner Fiona Scobell, gave the area a thorough makeover- pulling up weeds and removing moss.

Hampshire Chronicle: Playing in the newly refurbished outdoor area at Winnall Comunity Centre

Organiser of the Winnall Baby and Toddler group, Fiona said: “I’ve got parents that come from the Winnall flats, and they haven’t got their own garden.

It used to be a playschool there but that got shut down many years ago, so it’s not been used. The gate was all broken and parents kept saying it’s a shame we can’t go outside.”

“It’s vital for kids to have an outdoor space to play in. I know there’s a few parks, but the mums like to be there and have a cup of tea, chat to other mums and know that the children are safe in that area.”

Hampshire Chronicle: Playing in the newly refurbished outdoor area at Winnall Comunity Centre

Some of the parents from the Winnall flats stay at the community centre all day, just to be outside.

READ MORE: Winchester City Council announces findings from public feedback on the future of Abbey Gardens playground

The baby and toddler group that launched in March is now crowdfunding for outdoor toys and equipment for the kids to use in their new play area.

So far, a sandpit and a slide has been donated but Fiona, 51, is hoping to be able to buy a water tray and mud kitchen for the children too.

Fiona, who lives in Stanmore, was already the coordinator of early development classes Boogie Mites in Winchester and Eastleigh when she was approached by Winnall Community Centre to create a baby and toddler group for the area.

Ever since, Fiona has been running two hours sessions for local parents and children every Thursday at the centre. The sessions offer a communal space for play and socialising with some weeks having as many as 40-50 people in attendance.

Next in store for the baby and toddler group is a raffle to bring in more money and raise money for more toys and equipment alongside the crowdfunder.

To find out more or donate, visit crowdfunder.co.uk/p/help-support-winnall-toddler-groups-outside-space.

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