Russian visitors return to playground

A playground in the Dingle, which received funding from a charity set up by a Siberian supermodel, is to welcome Russian visitors.

 Representatives from The Naked Heart Foundation, established by model Natalia Vodianova, are to visit the playground in Northumberland Street.

Natalia set up the Foundation to fund playgrounds because she had nowhere to play as a child. The Dingle playground was the first it helped fund in the UK.
Work started in January last year when a delegation from the Foundation visited the site.
They said they wanted to come back when the playground was completed and in operation. Project Director Oxana Medvedeva and her colleagues Evgenia Mandrusova, Margarita Ustimenko, Elena Fonfrovich and Nadezhda Nizhegorodova will visit the playground on Friday 4 July.

The playground was developed with local voluntary group Southern Neighbourhood Council, (SNC), who run a community centre on the site next door to the new playground.
As well as the contrubution from the Naked Heart funding for the £100,000 scheme was provided by the Morgan Foundation, Plus Dane Housing and the city council with the scheme contractor, the Flanagan Group, doing the work at cost.

Local schoolchildren helped design the playground which includes a sports area for five-a-side football and netball.

Councillor Steve Munby, Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods, said: “We are very pleased to welcome back the visitors from the Naked Heart Foundation.  They have funded playgrounds throughout Russia but this was first one they helped in the UK and when Oxana and her team came at the start of the work they said they wanted to come back and see the finished playground for themselves.

“It is a great opportunity for us to show them how much their contribution has been appreciated. This area has needed a playground like this for a long time and it has been very well used.”

 

PIctured: Representatives from the Naked Heart Foundation joined local children when work started on the playground.