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Dowlais Primary School accommodates 142 pupils, aged 6-11.

The Issue

Dowlais Primary School had a mixture of footballs, hula hoops and skipping ropes available for its pupils to play with, however many needed replacing, leaving some of the children with nothing to do at break times. As a result, the lack of equipment often led to arguments and bickering in the playground. With no money in the budget to improve its outdoor play facilities, the PTA decided to start fundraising to help buy new equipment for the school.

The Resolution

After exploring which play equipment would benefit its pupils by keeping them fit and preventing arguments, the school contacted various companies – however Sovereign stood out and was invited to meet with the Head Teacher.

During the initial meeting with Sovereign Area Sales Manager, Julie Pearce, the school explained some of the problems that it was facing at break times. Julie suggested products that she thought would alleviate the issues, including The Captain Mannering tower and a variety of low level components for a Trim Trail.

However, due to the PTA having a very low budget, the school still had a long way to go.

The Process

Julie recommended writing to local businesses and applying for grants to obtain extra funding, which Dowlais took in its stride.

The hard work paid off, as the Trecatti Trust, the group belonging to a landfill site dominating the landscape above the school, donated £5,000.

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The primary also held a sponsored Danceathon, raising a further £2,000. After more fundraising, Dowlais was contacted by Merthyr Valleys Homes, which was also keen to help – and after a meeting, donated £5,000. The target had been reached!

Julie was called straight away and the Captain Mannering tower was ordered. The good news continued when the school was contacted again a few weeks later by The Trecatti Trust, pledging a further £5,000. Another phone call was made to Julie, as this funded the low level equipment for a Trim Trail.

The Installation

Sovereign installed the Captain Mannering adventure tower onto wetpour surfacing and also a range of low level equipment to create a Trim Trail.

The entire project was carried out over a half term week; the Wetpour surfacing was laid over that weekend too, ensuring that everything was ready for the children’s return on the Monday.

The Results

Pupils at Dowlais now benefit from two pieces of equipment that help physical development and social skills. Following the installations, the school has seen a dramatic reduction in behavioural issues at break times.

After seeing how much play times have changed for the better, the next phase of the development is currently being planned. This will include an outdoor classroom, playground markings and decorative pencils. Julie and the school are currently working together to devise a whole school plan – and this will be carried out as soon as funding is received.

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As the workmen cordoned off the work area, the children were still able to use the playground and see what was being installed at different times. Needless to say, the children asked LOTS of questions and the men from Sovereign were very friendly, helpful and interacted with the children. The benefits from having both pieces of play equipment on the yard have been huge!

There are hardly any issues at break times anymore, the children are active and happy! We are delighted with our playground so far and would definitely order with Sovereign again. We have had an overall incredible journey with the company.

Lynsey JonesChairperson Dowlais Primary PTA