The champagne corks have popped in Lostwithiel after community playground scheme, Lost in Play, made a strong finish to win a £1500 first prize in the Community South West awards.
The project with ambitions to bring improved play facilities for families in the town has been in a tight race for votes with two other community schemes since making the awards finals back in early May.
The community volunteers behind Lost in Play, and rival finalists, Constantine’s JuMP play park regeneration, and St Newlyn East’s Oxnam Room, have been canvassing for votes at local events and online for the past six weeks.
In total almost 10,000 votes were cast in the Community South West campaign for projects in Dorset, Somerset, Devon, and of course, Cornwall.
Lost in Play took the £1500 prize for Cornwall with 39% of the vote. Constantine finished second with 36%, while St Newlyn East took 25% of the total votes cast.
Jessica Tyson, one of the volunteer’s behind Lost in Play was delighted at the news.
“It’s fantastic news! When we were looking last time we were just behind Constantine, we were like 1% behind, so it will really gee everybody up because we were like, oh well, these things happen, but now this is absolutely brilliant news.
“It’s really going to help us push forward now.”
The achievement of actually winning the prize is quite a feat for the Lostwithiel community project and comes after they began the journey alongside 46 similar Cornwall based schemes.
The campaign to celebrate community spirit, ran in association with regional insurer Cornish Mutual, drew praise from the company’s managing director, Alan Goddard, who highlighted the ‘fantastic’ spirit in the towns involved and spoke of the how the ‘selfless support for individual projects has really shone through’.
For Lost in Play there is still some way to go before the children of the town are enjoying their new play facilities but this win will prove a big help.
“We’re trying to get a working agreement with the town council, we’ve got the support of the town council. Because they own the land they have to tender for it, we’re sort of doing all the leg work for them but every time we do something we have to go and see the land and parks people and make sure they’re happy with it.
“Obviously we’d like it to happen yesterday, but we’ve got to work around the rules and regulations, so we’d like to think that hopefully towards September we might be able to do it, but this news is just brilliant!”