Eoropie Play Park needs your help

The playpark is being developed for the future.
The playpark is being developed for the future.

As one of the biggest and best playparks in the Western Isles, the only thing missing from Eoropie Play Park is toilet facilities.

In response to demand from the growing number of park users, the local committee are now on a mission to fundraise to add this essential amenity to the popular park in time for next summer.

Thousands of local families and visitors use the four acre park every year which features equipment and trails for children of all ages.

Following an online survey carried out this summer, it became clear that toilets facilities are much in demand.

But the committee need support from the local community to bring the plan to fruition.

They have been chosen as the first project in the Ness/Westside area to benefit from funds from the Western Isles Lifestyle Lottery launched three months ago.

Funds for this area are distributed by the Westside Football and Recreational Association and all funds from tickets sales will go towards the toilet project from now until the end of the year.

Residents in this area can directly benefit the project by taking part in the lottery and be in with a chance of winning a weekly prize.

Ticket can be purchased by visiting www.westernisleslottery.co.uk or call 0300 30 20 444. To date, more than £8,000 has been raised.

A spokesperson for the Western Isles Community Society who operate the Western Isles Lifestyle Lottery (WILL) said: “We are delighted that funds will go towards this project to enhance facilities at Eoropie Play Park.

“As people will know, who have visited this fantastic facility, the addition of toilets will make a real difference and will encourage even more people to visit the park.”

Set up in 1998 by local mums who wanted to enhance play and leisure facilities in the area and encourage environmental awareness, Eoropie park has increased in size over the years but still remains virtually hidden in its beautiful setting on the machair land.

The committee state: “We have secured funding over the years for more play equipment, a kiosk, wages for kiosk workers, maintenance man, handy man and project manager.

“We have noticed a huge surge in the popularity of our park over the past few years, from the constant stream of tourists and locals. With this comes along the demand for toilets. The closest toilets are in a sports centre, almost a mile away.

“Throughout the year we run various events, such as Fairy Hunts, duck races, barbeques, Easter egg hunts and six volunteer days a year to help with park maintenance. Again, they are all well attended by visitors and locals alike.

“We recently ran a SurveyMonkey on our Facebook page and the overwhelming response from it was that toilets were required at our play park. We are a registered charity so all our money comes from fundraising, donations and funding.”

The Committee hope to have toilets in place by next summer but need your help!

They have already secured funds from the Aviva Community Fund but need votes from the public to increase the funds.

You can vote for Eoropie Park at https://community-fund.aviva.co.uk/voting/project/view/17-2367 until November 21st.

To support this project and others through Western Isles Lifestyle Lottery visit www.westernisleslottery.co.uk or call 0300 30 20 444. To date more than £7,000 has been raised for communities throughout the Western Isles.

The other projects benefiting from current funding are:

Broadbay - the need for Xmas Street Decorations and a New Year’s Firework Display was always The Stornoway Amenity Trust’s first goal. We are delighted to announce that this is now possible and we can look forward to a significant upgrade from the displays in recent years.

Uig/Lochs/Breaclete - Uig Community Centre have been awarded a grant to purchase soft play equipment and some larger play items for use indoors for the two to six year age group. The Grant also includes the purchase of equipment to enable them to start a club involving Football and Soft Tennis, run by two local Coaches.

Harris - The Harris Community lost their Xmas Street Decorations which were stored in the Scalpay Factory, recently destroyed by fire. We are delighted the Lottery can help replace these again as no other form of funding was available to them.

Uist - UCVO are delighted that the Balivanich Playground is going to undergo an extensive upgrade of equipment and landscaping to provide amenities for both locals and tourists alike.

Barra - Coimhearsnachd Bharraidh agus Bhatarsaidh Ltd - Barra & Vatersay Limited are now making plans to showcase their Community with a Xmas Street Decorations display they can be proud of and locals can now look forward to a cheerful Festive Season.

The next 6 projects to benefit from the Lottery funding will be announced early January 2018.

If you are seeking funding for a particular project in your area, you simply send your request to the Lottery’s support email address found on their website page www.westernisleslottery.co.uk.