Children's Playing Field Charity
The Children's Playing Field Charity land, off Bridge Street, Wye
The Wye Children's Playing Field Charity (registered charity no. 302898) owns land and funds projects and activities for:
'The provision and maintenance, including support by means of grants or loans, for recreational or leisure facilities and services for children and young people aged up to and including eighteen years old, in the parish of Wye with Hinxhill in Kent'. Charitable Objects (redefined 2010)
Where we come from - our history
The Children's Playing Field Charity owns the half of the playing field adjacent to the Lady Joanna Thornhill Primary School, Wye. The Sawbridge Earle-Drax family, formerly of Olantigh Towers once owned much of Wye and donated this land in 1928 to Wye Parish Council to hold in trust for charitable purposes. The playing field is bounded by Luckley House to the north and by the road leading to the waste water treatment works on the other. The southern half of the school playing field (that is bounded by scrub and beyond that, fields) is owned by Kent County Council (KCC). Volunteers planted the spinney on the west boundary in January 1993. This spinney now forms the setting for The Jungle natural play area.
In 1928 Wye Parish Council agreed that the land owned by the charity should 'at all times hereafter be used as a recreation ground for the children of the Thornhill School and other children of school age in the Parish of Wye, without distinction and for no other purpose'.
The charity now has an annual income, in the form of rent for a car park. Kent County Council (KCC) built the car park on the charity's land, without permission, to provide parking for staff at the primary school. After a lengthy legal challenge KCC finally agreed to sign an 18-year lease for the car park land and pay rent, and a backdated lump sum payment in compensation for the loss of the charity's land for recreation.
The Charity Commission has confirmed that any income the charity receives must be applied towards the purposes of the charity. Essentially, for the benefit of children who attend schools in the parish of Wye with Hinxhill and / or other children of school age who live in the parish. The list of charity-funded projects below shows how the Parish Council acting as trustee meets its obligations.
This charity is governed by a conveyance dating from 1928, and by a Scheme issued by the Charity Commission in 2010.
Who we are
Wye with Hinxhill Parish Council is the sole trustee of the charity. This means that the charity's land is vested in (owned by) the Parish Council and the Parish Council is responsible for managing the affairs of the charity. However, as the charity is a separate body, it is governed under charity law.
From 1928 until 2008 the Parish Council had little to do, since the the primary school managed the land as part of the school playing field, and the charity had no income or outgoings.
That changed in 2010 when the charity secured an income stream from rent. The Parish Council acting as trustee now has a duty to oversee the investment of funds, the production of annual accounts, and the making of grants. All these activities must accord with the objects of the charity.
What we do
The charity has limited funds available to further its charitable objects, but organisations may apply for a grant if they provide 'recreational or leisure facilities and services for children and young people aged up to and including eighteen years old, in the parish of Wye with Hinxhill in Kent'
Applications will be considered from qualifying organisations to purchase or maintain equipment used by children; particularly if the organisation does not have a membership subscription, for small grants of between £100 and £1,000 to help with small purchases. The charity particularly welcomes applications to support the training of youth leaders or sports coaches who are under 18 years old. It is hoped that, once trained, these individuals will help with the recreational sessions for younger children.
What we have done - so far
Wye Multi Use Games Area (MUGA)
2019 - £10,000 match funding towards the refurbishment of the Reece Pavilion as a self-contained community room with its own kitchen, accessible WC and WiFi, with views and direct access to the recreation ground and outdoor play equipment. This informal and flexible space is ideal for use by youth groups, and organisations that work with children and young people.
2018 - £3,290 for a mower and line marker for Lady Joanna Thornhill School to maintain the playing field and junior football pitch.
2017 - £10,000 for a new parent and child facility in the Large Hall - Wye Centre Project.
2016 – £20,000 landscaping a new children's garden and secure play areas accessed from both village halls.
2015 – £600 to provide a gala marquee for the 2nd Wye Scouts Cubs and Wye 2nd Beavers.
2014 - £2,000 for youth sports development and training facilities at Wye Cricket Club (Horton Meadow).
2014 – £27,000 match funding towards the construction of a Multi Use Games Area (MUGA) (image above).
2013 – CPFC hosted a Children's Fayre and granted funds to set up Wye Beavers, a licence for Wye Youth Cinema Club, a children's art event at the Wye Food Fayre, the Benefice Youth Group to Go Ape at Leeds Castle, and a football goal for the Recreation Ground.
2011 - The Children's Playing Field Charity made a grant of £7,000 for 'The Jungle' Adventure Play Trail. This natural play area provides a range of challenges for a wide age group and it includes accessible play equipment. The Jungle was the charity's first project and the design meets the Ten Design Principles.
Improved facilities at Wye Village Hall supports a wide range of groups and activities for children and young people, including the Wye Under Fives Pre-School, 2nd Wye Beaver, Cub and Scout packs and after school clubs.
Hubble Fund - In addition, each year, the charity grants £1,000 to the Hubble Fund. This is a ring-fenced fund for children and young people held within the Parish Council's main account. This fund covers the costs of safety inspections and the routine maintenance of the play areas and play equipment. Where possible the Parish Council either uses local contractors, or to save money councillors do the work as volunteers (see image).
There is no law to say that any form of inspection should be carried out on children's playgrounds and MUGAs. However, BS EN 1176 recommends that routine, operational and annual inspections should be carried out throughout the course of a year.
The Parish Council employs professional RPII inspectors, who are qualified to an Annual Level standard by the Register of Playground Inspectors.
The Hubble Fund was established by a bequest in memory of the late Peter Hubble, a former vice-chair of the Parish Council, and his work with the Kent Education Business Partnership.
Good practice guidance
Design for Play: Ten Design principles
A guide to creating successful play spaces.
1. are 'bespoke'
2. are well located
3. make use of natural elements
4. provide a wide range of play experiences
5. are accessible to both disabled and non-disabled children
6. meet community needs
7. allow children of different ages to play together
8. build in opportunities to experience risk and challenge
9. are sustainable and appropriately maintained
10. allow for change and evolution
The golden rule: 'A successful play space is a place in its own right, specially designed for its location. Designers should take a holistic perspective on designing for play. Play opportunities should be embedded in the site as a whole.' Play England (2008) Download Design for Play here
Design for Play
Design for Play includes 10 design principles which are at the core of a fresh, design-led approach to commissioning, and which are encapsulated in one 'golden rule':
'A successful play space is a place in its own right, specially designed for its location. Designers should take a holistic perspective on designing for play. Play opportunities should be embedded in the site as a whole.' Play England
Design for Play explains how good play spaces can give children and young people the freedom to play creatively, while allowing them to experience risk, challenge and excitement. There is also advice on how play spaces can be affordably maintained. A open access play place where children can just be children. They choose how, with what, with whom and for how long they play. Children learn for themselves how to deal with challenges and risks and build the resilience they need to cope with life's challenges.
What is play?
The Jungle: provides 'natural play' including climbing frames which allow children to follow their natural instinct to scramble, crawl and climb. Climbing improves balance, coordination, motor skills and increases fitness levels and the ability to judge risks.
Play is an essential part of every child's life and is vital for the enjoyment of childhood as well as social, emotional, intellectual and physical development.
When children are asked about what they think is important in their lives, playing and friends is usually at the top of the list.
How do we define what 'playing' actually means?
Play England's Charter for Children's Play describes play as: 'what children and young people do when they follow their own ideas and interests, in their own way, and for their own reasons.'
Play has also frequently been described as 'what children and young people do when they are not being told what to do by adults'.
Having time and space to play gives children the opportunity to meet and socialise with their friends, keeps them physically active, and gives the freedom to choose what they want to do.
Research shows that play has many benefits for children, families and the wider community, as well as improving health and quality of life. Recent research suggests that children's access to good play provision can:
- increase their self-awareness, self-esteem, and self-respect
- improve and maintain their physical and mental health
- give them the opportunity to mix with other children
- allow them to increase their confidence through developing new skills
- promote their imagination, independence and creativity
- offer opportunities for children of all abilities and backgrounds to play together
- provide opportunities for developing social skills and learning
- build resilience through risk taking and challenge, problem solving, and dealing with new and novel situations
- provide opportunities to learn about their environment and the wider community.
Evidence of the wider benefits of play provision for families and communities, suggests that:
- parents can feel more secure knowing that their children are happy, safe and enjoying themselves
- families benefit from healthier, happier children
- buildings and facilities used by play services are frequently seen as a focal point for communities
- it offers opportunities for social interaction for the wider community and supports the development of a greater sense of community spirit, promoting social cohesion
- public outside spaces have an important role in the everyday lives of children and young people, especially as a place for meeting friends
- parks and other green spaces are popular with adults taking young children out to play and for older children and young people to spend time together.
Extract from Play England why play is important
Children’s Playing Field Charity
For all inquiries regarding the Children's Playing Field Charity, please contact the Correspondent c/o the Parish Council
- c/o Wye with Hinxhill Parish Council,
2B Briar Close,
Wye, Kent TN25 5HB
- 01233 812459
Did you know?
Children's right to play is a human right
On 1 February 2013 the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child adopted a General Comment that clarifies for governments worldwide the meaning and importance of Article 31 of the Convention on the Right of the Child.