Flood school's playground vote plea

FLOOD-wrecked Toll Bar Primary School has been shortlisted in a national competition to have its ruined playground restored - and now it needs YOUR votes to help it come out on top!

Thursday, 20th September 2007, 11:02 am
Updated Thursday, 20th September 2007, 11:04 am

Voting is online only and many of the school's parents do not have access to the internet as a result of the floods.

So staff are appealing to Star readers to get on their computers and help the school get its much-needed brand new playground.

At the moment Toll Bar only has one per cent of the votes in the competition - trailing a long way behind a playground in Staffordshire, on 47 per cent, and one in Renfrewshire which has attracted 24 per cent of the vote.

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Toll Bar is the only flood-damaged playground on the shortlist.

Four other local playgrounds are also in the running - in Henley in Rotherham; Beighton, Sheffield; Rawmarsh,Rotherham; and Pentland Road, Dronfield Woodhouse.

Today Toll Bar school secretary Anne Newton said: "We're trailing behind in the voting simply because a lot of people who would vote for us don't have access to a computer at the moment and that's the only way you can vote.

"We're contacting everyone in our address book to see if they'll help out. We'd like to ask all of Doncaster to get behind us - we need all the help we can get."

Heroic efforts by staff at the school enabled it to open on time for the new term - although the school building is still unusable and the pupils are being taught in temporary structures.

The playground suffered as badly as the school buildings - the majority of the play equipment disappeared or became unusable because of the flood.

Most of the school's pupils are housed in short-term accommodation - many on a temporary council mobile home park.

Residents have been warned that they are unlikely to be able to move back into their homes for as long as two years.

More than 300 homes in the village, which was already in the top 10 per cent of deprived areas in the country even before the floods, are uninhabitable and the school is out of action for at least 12 months.

Headteacher Jill Northwood said: "These children are living in a stressful situation and playground equipment could help stimulate the minds as well as physical activity.

"The school playground and the play area is a blank canvas - there is nothing left.

"This area really does deserve a makeover. These children deserve help and a stimulating and exciting play area."

Click here to vote in the Goodyear Tyres Playground Appeal 2007.