Students push the boat out to make wooden play equipment for Peterlee school

Houghall College students with youngsters at Shotton Primary School trying out their new play equipment.
Houghall College students with youngsters at Shotton Primary School trying out their new play equipment.

Talented students put their creativity to the test creating outdoor play equipment for youngsters.

A group of East Durham College students were bursting with pride when they handed over their handmade wooden play equipment, including a boat, car and bike, to the children at Shotton Hall Primary School in Peterlee.

Students from Houghall College who worked on the play equipment.

Students from Houghall College who worked on the play equipment.

The nine students, who are who are studying on a level two employability skills programme at the college’s Houghall campus in Durham city, needed to work on a community project as part of their studies.

The project was set up thanks to a link between Shotton Hall Primary and their lecturer, John Murray.

John said: “Outdoor play equipment is very expensive, so the school approached us to see if we could help with some equipment for their early years outdoor play area.

“They gave us a catalogue and the students chose a number of items to re-design and build.

They all worked extremely hard on the project and should be extremely proud of what they have achieved, I know I am

John Murray

“The group had to work on all elements of the project from planning, preparation, construction to the handover. They hand-built all the items at Houghall and completed the whole project in about 3 weeks.

“They all worked extremely hard on the project and should be extremely proud of what they have achieved, I know I am.”

Students Chloe Brown, 17, Courtney Kennedy, 17, Dale Hanley, 18, Ellis McKinnie, 22, and Ryan Marshall, 19, all travelled to Peterlee to hand over the wooden items they had built and were choked by the reaction of the children.

Dale said: “We all loved working on this project and it really helped improve our teamwork skills.

“To see the children all excited about the new toys was fantastic, it really warmed your heart. We were all a bit choked up by their amazing reaction.”

Cheryl McCoy, Early Years Leader at Shotton Hall Primary, said: “Imaginative play is a really important part of a child’s development and this fantastic new equipment is a great addition to the children’s outdoor play area.

“They are absolutely thrilled with the new equipment and I’m sure they will provide the children with hours of fun and really help spark their imaginations.

“On behalf of the school, I would like to thank the students and the college for all their hard work and kind generosity.”