Date: May 2022
Helping Hand: Mitre 10 national Helping Hands Programme – Project Playground
Project: New Playground for Colwill School in Massey
“It felt like we were winning Lotto! It was quite an emotional moment.” So said principal Rob Taylor on learning that his school was one of three schools selected as part of the Mitre 10 Helping Hands Project Playground competition and that Mitre 10 Helping Hands would build a new playground for his students at Colwill School in West Auckland.
Colwill, a decile 2 school with students from over 30 different cultures, is in the midst of a much-needed rebuild after years of dealing with black mould, water leaks, asbestos and termites. It has waited eight years for the work to begin and, unsurprisingly, despite the playground literally falling apart, the school couldn’t afford to replace it with everything else that needed to be done.
Commenting on what the new playground would mean to the students, Rob said Colwill’s children are so appreciative of anything they are given.
“They don’t necessarily have a lot outside of school by way of things to do and amazing things to enjoy, so having this [playground] at school is brilliant for them.
“Bearing in mind that they’ve had two years away and been very unsettled during Covid, they’re now coming back to a school site being completely rebuilt around them. It feels like a bomb site! Having the playground rebuilt, rejuvenated and looking amazing will be something quite special in the midst of all the chaos they’re going be dealing with over the next couple of years. It’ll just hopefully help them settle in while the rebuild goes on around us.”
Despite Covid disruption and manufacturing delays, the playground opened early May to the delight of students and teachers alike. Two more Project Playground builds will be completed late June, at Te Hapara School in Tairawhiti Gisborne and South New Brighton School in Ōtautahi Christchurch.
Special thanks to The Playground People for all their hard work and dedication to the ‘Project Playground’ builds.