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Petition for outdoor gym equipment on the Howard estate, in Bury St Edmunds, wins hundreds of signatures




Outdoor gym and obstacle equipment could transform the lives of youngsters living on a Bury St Edmunds housing estate, claim campaigners.

A petition for an investment in equipment aimed at older children – which could also be used by adults – has won hundreds of signatures within days.

Organisers Johnny Chandler, Arron Goodman, Liam Hayes, Scarlett Brabrook and Wilson Kirk hope to persuade decision-makers the equipment is needed.

Arron Goodman, Liam Hayes, Scarlett Brabrook, Wilson Kirk and Johnny Chandler are campaigning for outdoor equipment aimed at older youngsters and adults for the Howard estate (39887144)
Arron Goodman, Liam Hayes, Scarlett Brabrook, Wilson Kirk and Johnny Chandler are campaigning for outdoor equipment aimed at older youngsters and adults for the Howard estate (39887144)

Johnny said: “The two playgrounds we have are exactly the same andare aimed at young kids and the ones age 10-12 upwards have outgrown them. There is nothing on the estate for teenagers.

“The idea is for an obstacle course. I know money might be tight but we need something for the older kids and adults to use.

“On this estate , it’s all focussed on pensioners. Part of the trouble with the estate is when you get ll the kids congregating with nothing to do. If you include the kids you get their respect.”

Johnny said he had seen the lack of available activities for youngsters on the estate causing a problem for decades.

“People moan, moan, moan about the kids but they don’t do anything. I think an outdoor gym and obstacle course would give them a meeting point.”

Johnny said the petition gained 400 signatures on Sunday alone, with residents supporting the idea even if it was not something they would use.

“This would give kids somewhere to go and show them that people care about them,” said Johnny.

“We have got to take pride in the estate and the kids here. This facility would help them and the next generation coming through.

“I can’t think of one good thing that’s been done for the children on the estate in the last 10 years.

“Having this equipment would hopefully reduce the levels of crime in our area by giving our younger generation something to focus on.”

The petition follows Howard estate councillor Max Clarke’s appeal to MP Jo Churchill for investment in the estate’s youngsters, as reported in last week’s Bury Free Press.

- See the petition at the Howard Estate Community Page or the Howard Estate Green Hearts pages on Facebook.

You can also sign online at change.org