New era for Friends of Oban Community Playpark

Father of two Dave Ainscough is the new chairman of Friends of Oban Community Playpark.

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A new generation of caretakers has come on board to ensure Oban’s community playpark will be in safe hands for years to come.

Friends of Oban Community Playpark held their online AGM on January 16 in the hope that interested individuals would step up and take on the four main committee roles.

If new people did not respond positively it was likely the group, started in 2011 to oversee and fundraise for the installation of the Atlantis Leisure-based playpark, would have to call it a day and disband the constituted group, leaving the playpark without a community voice.

However, last week the group announced that an all-new committee of local parents, who are passionate to continue the great work that Lyndsay Elliott and her team have been doing over the past nine years, had came forward.

Taking over the chair is father of two Dave Ainscough, whose first job was to thank his predecessors for their time and efforts which ultimately resulted in the creation of the fantastic facility.

‘I believe it is really important to continue the hard work that this group has been doing over the years,’ he added. ‘Having heard the requests for volunteers, I was interested to learn more, as were many others who came forward and attended the group’s Zoom meeting in December.

‘Living just up the road from the park with our two boys, my wife and I had intentionally bought our house to be near to the playpark. For many years now we have
regularly used and enjoyed the space and the facilities that the playpark provides.’

FOCP vice-chair Emma D’Arcy.

Incoming vice-chairperson Emma D’Arcy has always been involved in sports development and hopes her passion for promoting physical activity and living an active lifestyle will be of use to the group.

‘Play is a massive part of this and where better to do it than at the playpark,’ said Emma.

‘It’s sad to be saying goodbye to most of the original members but also very exciting to have some fresh faces on board to continue to be the voice for this brilliant inclusive playpark we have here in Oban.’

Newly appointed FOCP secretary Lucy Roberts.

Lucy Roberts has lived in Oban for seven years and remembers what it was like to not have a proper playpark. Lucy will take on the role of secretary.

‘I remember how much effort everyone put in to raising funds and how excited the kids were when each phase opened,’ she said.

‘After the issues with the flooring and some equipment, it’s been frustrating and upsetting to see the park shut for long periods of time.

‘Now it’s time for a new team to ensure the playpark is still going strong for future generations.’

Treasurer Graeme Greenlaw added: ‘Our hope is that by continuing this group, we will be able to represent the park, the people who use it and the community to ensure it remains an asset for Oban and its many visitors for many years to come.’

Former chairperson Lyndsay Elliott will stay on as a committee member to help with the transition.