THE beautiful surroundings of Barrow Park have become the first in the North West to host weekly free activity sessions for people of all ages.
ParkPlay takes place in the 45 acre Grade II-listed grounds of the park every Saturday morning to offer individuals and families the chance to meet, have fun and play games with others in their community.
The free initiative is delivered by charitable organisation ParkPlay in partnership with Active Cumbria, Barrow Borough Council, Barrow Local Committee, Cumbria County Council and the Barrow Integrated Care Community.
So far, it has drawn around 60 people per week who have enjoyed a range of activities including dodgeball, frisbee, scavenger hunts and quick cricket.
Councillor Derek Brook, Barrow Borough Council lead member for community, said: “ParkPlay is a superb scheme which offers everyone the chance to get moving and have fun with other people from the community.
“We’re delighted that Barrow is the first location in the region to have been selected to host ParkPlay and that it has taken off so quickly.
“Barrow Park already has a weekly Parkrun in non-Covid times but these sessions add a new dimension to the activity on offer in the town.
“I’ve been to a few sessions myself with my granddaughter Effie and we loved it, it was such good fun. We followed it up with a visit to the park’s excellent playground afterwards.
“Everyone is invited to join in and have a go. It’s just one hour a week, but the benefits are huge.”
ParkPlay takes place between 10am and 11am on Saturdays all year round with participants required only to sign up on the ParkPlay website here: https://park-play.com/parks/barrow/
It is hoped ParkPlay sessions will be organised at other locations around Morecambe Bay in the future.
Emma Broadbent, development officer for Active Cumbria, said: “Access to free organised sport is important to the physical and mental health of residents across the borough.
“We are very lucky in Barrow to have such a beautiful, well maintained park which is already home to many local activities including Parkrun and Junior Parkrun.
“Resilient communities are built by active residents who participate within, and that’s why there are lots of opportunities and roles for everyone taking part, whether you want to turn up and play or come along and help out.
“The past year has demonstrated the importance of building strong, happy, active communities. ParkPlay will help by providing regular, fun, informal opportunities to be active with others.”