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PM flies in to open new RAF play area
Buy this photo » The new play area
PRIME Minister David Cameron yesterday opened an air force-themed play park to help forces’ children from becoming isolated and vulnerable.
The £330,000 park, in Faulder Avenue, Carterton, features swings, slides and trampolines surrounding a striking climbing frame shaped like a Hercules transport carrier.
Mr Cameron said the project, which was funded by the RAF Benevolent Fund, was a thank-you to service families at RAF Brize Norton .
Carterton mum Natalie Mason, 27, of Faulder Avenue, was one of the first to try out the new equipment with her 15-month-old son, Ridley.
Mrs Mason, whose husband SAC Miles Mason is serving in the Falklands, said: “It is a fantastic resource for my little one.
“It can get quite lonely on your own and this will give us something to do and somewhere to meet new people.”
St Joseph’s Primary School headteacher Breda Bowles, who took pupils to the opening, said: “It is another meeting point for parents and their children.
“Unless they get these opportunities, they can feel quite isolated and vulnerable.”
St Joseph’s Primary School pupil Olivia Chaundy, six, said: “I like all of it. If I could live here I would.”
Mr Cameron said: “As a dad of an eight-year-old, six-year-old and two-year-old, I know you need good outdoor play spaces and facilities like this.
“All of us need places for our children to play but for military families it is almost more important because mums and dads are often away for long periods of time.
“This is part of what we should be doing to thank servicemen and women and look after their families by providing the play spaces and support they rightly need.”
Wing Commander Justine Morton, of RAF Brize Norton, said: “I just think it is an utterly brilliant play park.”
The new Carterton play park was funded by the Benevolent Fund with a £50,000 grant from BAE Systems, £130,000 from The Armed Forces Covenant and £7,000 from Airfix.