Children from a small housing scheme in North Lochs need help with a simple problem. They’re asking ‘please can we have a place to play?’
All the houses at Druim an Aoil, off School Hill in Ranish, are homes to families with children of primary age or under, the oldest 10 and the youngest just a one-year-old.
But the scheme of mixed privately-owned and Hebridean Housing Partnership houses has no special place to play and parents are now getting together to see whether they can change all that.
Rachel Mackenzie, who has a nine-year-old son and two-year-old daughter, has started a social media campaign called ‘A Playground in Druim an Aoil’.
She’s calling on parents in Ranish and Crossbost to get involved with her appeal to councillors, businesses and people from other play projects to set up a small, safe play area.
She told welovestornoway.com (Wednesday August 26th): “There are nine children within the immediate area, and others just a short distance away. They have nowhere to play apart from running around on the moor and croftland, where there are broken bits of metal, fencing and high cliff edges, all of which could be dangerous if they aren’t careful when playing.
““We’re looking into creating a safe and friendly area for the children to develop and socialise in. Recently two gas storage tanks between homes have been removed, leaving a nice adequate area for a playground, and HHP have said they are willing to negotiate to let us use the land for that purpose.
“We’re looking for advice from other playschemes like Newmarket Play Park and Eoropie Dunes – although we need nothing near as big as these, we do think the people involved in them will know where we can look for help.”
To start with Rachel just wants to get parents together to bounce around ideas and look for advice. Local councillor Angus Morrison is to meet her next week to hear what she hopes for and offer guidance and Rachel then hopes to hold a meeting at her own home, or in Leurbost, to gauge the level of local support.
She said: “I would like to hear from anyone who could give advice or has been involved in a similar project, or who would be willing to make it happen.”
You can contact Rachel via her campaign page on Facebook, A Playground in Druim An Aoil. https://www.facebook.com/aplaygroundinDAA/