By Mid-February the effects of a winter in lockdown were starting to take their toll on the residents of Thruxton, Fyfield and Kimpton, so to raise spirits they decided to start planning for what they hoped would be a Summer of Freedom.
The three villages are lucky enough to have a wonderful sports field in their centre and their vision was to enhance the facility so that the whole community could have an outdoor venue in which to play and socialize.
A small group of residents got together to brainstorm ideas on how to fund the project and in the space of seven weeks managed to raise nearly £12,000.
They raised money through Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day raffles, hosted weekly meat draws, supported by Owtons Butchers At Rosebourne and residents made direct donations.
They were also fortunate to receive a £1,500 donation from Londis at Weyhill Service Station as other local businesses also paid to advertise at the field.
On the weekend of the 19th March 2021 local residents Neil Coleman and Rick Smart completed a Mega Marathon weekend with Neil running 104 miles in 3 days and Rick 52 miles. Residents, family and friends sponsored Neil and Rick and they managed to raise £3,265.
As the money started to be raised, local residents rallied to start work on improving the field. Neil Coleman, the Todd Family, Kyle Gibson and Dino Thomas constructed a 75m fence around the play area to ensure child health and safety and £5,500 of play equipment has been purchased to install in the area in May.
Neil and local residents Keith Edwards, Rob Gerrett and Adam Hemsley then started work on a 100 square metre picnic area and garden for family and friends to relax in.
The area is nearly complete and will be known as Captain Tom’s Garden in memory of the inspirational Captain Sir Tom Moore who raised over £30 million for the NHS during lockdown. The Community gardening clubs will start planting this weekend and wonderful picnic tables and benches have been purchased for Captain Tom’s Garden and also the play area.
Rick Smart the Chairman of the Three Villages Sports which maintains the field said, “We were all a bit flat in mid-February and just wanted something to look forward to and enhancing the sports field seemed the logical way forward. We thought we might raise enough to buy a couple of play items and never in our wildest dreams did we think we would raise £12000.
“The Three Villages Community is incredible and so many people have contributed whether through buying raffle tickets, sponsoring events, volunteering to help with construction or really just doing whatever they could. The field is already being used more and when restrictions lift further and the play equipment is installed we will be set for a Summer of fun. Its impossible to name and thank everyone who has supported us but huge credit must go to Neil Coleman and the Todd Family who have given up their time and money for the benefit of the whole community.
“We really cannot thank them enough. We will continue to look at ways to raise money to keep enhancing the facility for young and old to enjoy”.
If you live in or around Thruxton, Fyfield or Kimpton, join their Facebook group Thruxton Life here. And read more about the amazing work of villagers in this week’s edition of the Love Andover Observer newspaper.