Youngsters’ spirits sky high thanks to park at RAF base

Air Marshal Chris Nickols, centre, officially opens the park

Air Marshal Chris Nickols, centre, officially opens the park

First published in News Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter covering Rose Hill, Iffley and Littlemore. Please call me on (01865) 425422

WHILE their parents are flying overhead in state-of-the-art military planes, the children of RAF Benson will be able to enjoy a new skate park on solid ground.

The skate park and play park, which was opened last Tuesday by RAF Benevolent Fund controller Air Marshal Chris Nickols, cost £130,000 and will cater for more than 500 families who live on the site.

The skate park features a half pipe and quarter pipes for older children and the play park has a custom-designed tube slide, climbing apparatus, swings and a floor-level trampoline.

Flight Lieutenant Emma Phillips said her two-year-old son Ollie loves the park.

She said: “He can go on his scooter with the older boys and girls and it has a bouncy floor so parents can relax.

“The kids all absolutely love it. They have never had anything like it on the station before – it means kids from all ages can enjoy the outdoors.

“Children are joining together and enjoying the park, kids who wouldn’t normally meet each other from across the station are joining together.”

It has been made possible by the RAF Benevolent fund and contributions from the RAF Central funds, which specifically funded the skate park.

The new play park is a renovation of Chipmunk Park, which had become outdated, and young people on the base had been eager to have a skate park as well.

Station commander of RAF Benson, Group Captain Nigel Colman, was present at the formal unveiling of the park along with dozens of families who live on the base.

He said: “It’s fantastic to see so many eager young faces enjoying such a great facility.

“It can be quite difficult for our families, particularly coping with separation somewhere that is relatively isolated, so having somewhere fun they can go without travelling is absolutely brilliant.”

Air Mshl Nickols said: “In response to a request from the RAF a few years ago, the RAF Benevolent Fund committed to providing child care centres, a youth support programme and play parks for younger children on all major stations.

“It’s just one of the ways we support serving personnel and their families who serve alongside them.

The base also has a youth club, Girl Guide and Scouts groups and an Air Training Corp for the children of serving personnel.

  • Do you want alerts delivered straight to your phone via our WhatsApp service? Text NEWS or SPORT or NEWS AND SPORT, depending on which services you want, and your full name to 07767 417704. Save our number into your phone’s contacts as Oxford Mail WhatsApp and ensure you have WhatsApp installed.

Send your Letter to the Editor

11:20am Monday 28th July 2014

What do you think? We welcome letters from our readers on a wide variety of subjects and you can send us a letter through the blue headline above.

Our top stories

Cyclist sexually harassed two women in Oxford

Oxford Mail: Thames Valley Police logo

3:57pm Friday 19th September 2014

A CYCLIST who sexually harassed two women this morning is being hunted by police.

Kennington roundabout contraflow switch put back by a month due to fragile cables

Oxford Mail: Oxfordshire County Council is spending £6m on turning the Kennington roundabout at the southern end of Abingdon Road into a “hamburger” style junction

3:19pm Friday 19th September 2014

A CHANGEOVER in the traffic system at Oxford’s Kennington Roundabout is to be delayed by four weeks, to mid-October.

First OxfordOxford festival cancelled a week before event

Oxford Mail:

1:50pm Friday 19th September 2014

THE inaugural OxfordOxford festival has been cancelled due to poor ticket sales and uncertainty with a booked artist, organisers have said today.

Alcoholic jailed for ‘sickening’ attack in street

Oxford Mail:

8:30am Friday 19th September 2014

AN ALCOHOLIC who kicked a woman’s head like she was “taking a penalty” has been jailed.

‘Co-operation is key to ending child sex gangs’

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Friday 19th September 2014

A HOME Office minister has admitted that social services and police officers should have been co-operating “for years” to stamp out child sexual exploitation.

Northern Gateway ‘will increase traffic by half’

Oxford Mail:

7:00am Friday 19th September 2014

MORNING traffic on a main route into the city could increase by almost half if a major development in North Oxford goes ahead, it has been claimed.

Comments

Post a comment

Remember you are personally responsible for what you post on this site and must abide by our site terms. Do not post anything that is false, abusive or malicious. If you wish to complain, please use the ‘report this post’ link.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree