Youngsters at Newtown Primary School are enjoying a healthy new addition to their playground – after a two-year Covid-enforced wait.

An outdoor gym has been installed to encourage the children to keep active during their breaks from classes. The money to buy and install the fun equipment was actually raised two years ago but the children have had to patiently wait until restrictions eased before they’ve finally been allowed to use it.

Donna Lund, the Newtown Road school’s Family Learning Mentor, said: “Back in 2020, we entered the CFM Cash for Kids Sports Challenge, where we had four weeks to raise as much money as we could.

“We came up with the idea of an outdoor gym as Key Stage 1 had an amazing climbing frame, but Key Stage 2 had a large, concreted area, and a field, so lots of space but nothing in it!

“We asked the children if this was something they would like and they were very excited, and we started fundraising.”

That campaign included a sponsored walk, chocolate bingo, raffle/tombola, Smartie challenge, non-uniform day and there were also donations from generous local businesses. The school raised an amazing £4,072, coming runners up in the challenge, and receiving an additional £1,000 from Cash for Kids.

Donna added: “Unfortunately Covid hit and everything was put on hold. When all restrictions were lifted, we eventually got a date in the calendar to get it fitted. The children were very excited to see the workmen putting the equipment in and have been looking forward to using it at long last.”

Youngsters from Year 6, who will be leaving for secondary school in a few weeks, were quick to give the kit a thumbs up – describing it as ‘epic’ and ‘great for exercise’.

Interim Head of School Sarah Lee said: “The children will have many hours of fun and it will also be good for both their physical and mental health. Our thanks to all involved for making this happen.”

The ribbon on the equipment was cut by Cash for Kids’ Charity Executive Sara Oldham , who said: “It’s an honour to be here and see the children make use of this outdoor equipment. We’re proud to work with and support schools like Newtown. Seeing the smiles on the children’s faces is a fantastic reward.”