A SPONSORED football challenge fundraising event to raise money to improve a ‘forgotten’ Oxford park has been hailed as a success.

Donnington Tenants and Residents Association wants to improve Donnington Recreation Ground to include new pitches, benches and bins as well as ambitious plans for a play area and green gym.

On Saturday Donnington Football Club chairman Chris Madden helped organise a fundraising 'crossbar challenge' at the park to raise money for a project to fund a site safe for the children's football club and called on the local community to have a go at hitting the crossbar to show their support.

Speaking after the event Oxfordshire county councillor for Iffley Fields and St Mary’s Helen Evans called the fundraiser ‘a great success.’

She said: “The local community is working hard to make the park a place everyone can enjoy.

“To get involved do join our next residents association meeting on the second Wednesday of every month at 7pm in the Donnington Community Club.”

The fundraising event at the ground helped to raise about £300 towards a goal of £2,000 to help improve the facilities, including storage for football kits.

Ms Evans said currently kits had to be brought in by car and carried to the pitches, which could take a long time.

At the fundraising day about 50 children and their parents took part in a bid to raise the funds needed.

New recruit at Donnington Football Club, Sergei, seven, was the first to hit the crossbar, followed by a number of further successful shots taken by parents.

The latest fundraiser to improve the park comes a year after members of the Donnington Tenants and Residents Association held a Love Your Community event to mark Valentine's Day, singling out the recreation ground as a place 'in need of love.'

Oxford-based community artist ‘Groovy Su,’who took part, said that residents had decided to focus their efforts on revamping the recreation ground following a Better Donnington Survey which was carried out in 2014.

A questionnaire was put to families in the surrounding area and revamping the recreation ground came out highly on the list of what people wanted for their community.

Groovy Su said: “We want facilities like in Hinksey, so the community here can get together and get fit and healthy.

“Despite having a large playing field in our midst, we have no facilities to support its usage.

"Many of us feel we are often overlooked in terms of funding and provision of amenities, compared to areas such as Barton, Rose Hill and Blackbird Leys.

“Donnington and East Oxford generally are being deprived of local amenities while lots of money is going to other areas.

“We in Donnington feel it’s our turn now.”