Volunteers work through day to restore playground in Meir vandalised by yobs
A PLAY area targeted by vandals just weeks after it was revamped has been given a makeover for a second time.
Young volunteers worked through the day to restore the children's playground at the Ducklings Opportunity Group in Meir where yobs had thrown paint, damaged equipment and trampled over a recently-planted vegetable patch.
The original two-week project was carried out at the Meir Community and Education Centre site by a team from The Prince's Trust.
But yesterday students from Stoke-on-Trent College returned to Pickford Place to restore the area to its former glory.
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Eleven youngsters re-painted the vandalised murals and fixed the broken garden shed.
College worker Phil Donnelly said: "The last team who came down spent two weeks at the nursery. They painted all the footpaths, designed the murals and brightened up the garden shed.
"So when I found out what had happened, we were absolutely devastated and I contacted Penny Williams,, the nursery manager, to tell her we would like to come back."
Mr Donnelly said the youngsters were on the team programme, a 12-week course to develop self-esteem.
"As part of the course they are required to carry out a number of projects based in the community and this was one we were all keen to do," he said.
Team leader Becky Moore, aged 23, of Crewe, said: "We only had a day to do it all so it was quite a tight schedule. Before we got there we had to ring around local businesses to try to get funding or equipment so we could start the project."
Fellow team leader, 19-year-old Idris Alshariff, of Tunstall, said: "I have done similar things before. I have done a bit of painting and decorating and I enjoyed it. When we got there all the paint was smudged and it looked a mess."
Hayley Campbell, also 19 of Newcastle, added: "I had never done anything like it before so I got to learn a few new skills. I liked designing my mural."
Ducklings manager Penny Williams said: "We are a registered charity so if we want anything doing we have to fund-raise because otherwise we just can't afford it.
"We had the play area done a few years ago and it was really dull and drab, so we approached the Prince's Trust and were delighted when they chose us.
"They did a brilliant job but about a week afterwards we found it had been vandalised. Paint had been thrown everywhere and the shed door had been kicked in. It broke my heart because I knew we couldn't afford to do it ourselves.
"We are just so grateful to the team because without them it would have had to stay as it was."