Axedale fights for children

DETERMINED: Gemma Ellis with daughter Grace and fellow supporters of the new playground are working together to raise money to ensure plans go ahead. Picture: BRENDAN McCARTHY

DETERMINED: Gemma Ellis with daughter Grace and fellow supporters of the new playground are working together to raise money to ensure plans go ahead. Picture: BRENDAN McCARTHY

Community bands together to ensure play not abandoned

THE Axedale community has banded together to ensure children have somewhere to play. 

A section of land near the Axedale Preschool has been sold off, meaning the current playground area will reduce in size. 

However, parents say the number of children attending the school is continually increasing. 

"The current playground is 20 years old and new play equipment is required to meet the ongoing needs of the current and future children attending the preschool," parent committee president Erin Perry said. 

The land was sold privately and the owner remains unclear. 

However, parents are not giving up hope. 

A draft plan outlines a larger yard incorporating imaginative play - however the community is yet to secure funds to ensure this goes ahead. 

"As with any new venture money is always a roadblock to change," Ms Perry said. 

She was unable to confirm how much the City of Greater Bendigo would commit to the project, because negotiations are in progress, but said the council had been generous with their offer. 

This community space is just so important in a small town like ours. - Gemma Ellis

Fellow mother Gemma Ellis said a playground was vital for a small community. 

"It not only brings people together but gives children the opportunity to come and play and be active," she said. 

"This new preschool plan is just so important in a small town like ours."

She said the future of the proposed playground hinged on the council decision.

"On the upside, we as a preschool are determined that the kids are not going to be disadvantaged by upcoming events, so we are working hard to bring in as much as we can to go towards the new playground," Ms Ellis said. 

An All Wares Market, on August 17, will help raise money for the playground. 

"In organising the market I have been overwhelmed by the support and generosity of the local people from Bendigo and surrounding areas," she said. 

"If it's for the kids, count me in is the repeated response from all who want to support the market."

The market will run from 10am to 2pm and offer a wide variety of local products. 

A refurbished old school desk will be auctioned off.

"The staff and committee of the Axedale Preschool would be extremely grateful for as much support for our wonderful little, yet ever-growing preschool and community," Ms Ellis said. 

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