Playground Appeal

The Big Holly Park Appeal 2020

The 2020 Playground Appeal was a huge success and the new playground is complete!

Here is our building blog:

The internal work has been done and the classroom is ready!

The tarmac is finished and it looks huge!

So the next phase begins this week. 
The tarmac has started to be laid in what will be the new playground. 
The new fence and gate is also going in – which will separate the new playground and car park.

The windows are out and the new windows and door are in.

The windows are coming out and this week a hole will be smashed through the wall and new windows and doors added. 

Work has begun on the new playground! The fence between the car park and the playground has been taken down, internal work has started in the classroom before the wall can be knocked through and a door put in and the grit bins have been moved. 

Mrs Pelham writes:

I am delighted to tell you that we will be able to go ahead this summer with the playground expansion work. The current fences will be moved to create more playground space which is going to be invaluable with needing more space for every year group to have their own play zone in September.  A door will be knocked through to one of the junior classrooms and that classroom with be redecorated and re-carpeted. Again, this will really help with allowing children to enter and exit the classroom at the start and end of play times avoiding a crush in the lower junior building.  It looks like the playground markings may have to wait until a later date but if we can possibly do them we will.

The idea of this work was a dream that I have had for some time but never thought would be possible as this is a job that could never have come out of the normal school budget. It was also such a mammoth fundraising job that I never expected it to happen. Thanks to the enthusiasm, team building and organisation of John Harte (parent governor) for driving it through we were able to move this dream into an achievable possibility. Thanks to the hard work and dedication of the team that he built– putting John’s plans into practice – the dream has become a reality. Thanks to that team of Nathalie Esfandi (PTA) Marilena Skavara  (PTA) Otto Balsiger (PTA) Amanda Glaser (PTA) Daniel Bobroff (parent)  Tim Graveney (Chair of governors) Fiona Quinton (governor)  Anna Sherrington (governor) Simon Reid (Site Manager)  A reminder that the dream has only become possible due to the following generous contributions: £5,000 single parental gift in July 2019, £6,068 Crowdfunder from Holly Park parents, £2,250 Gift Aid claim on crowdfunder, £5,000 Austin Chambers gift, £1,309  Chokmah run proceeds, £12,000 PTA contribution for 2019/20 academic year, £3,500 from Friern Barnet Educational Trust. This project completes a partnership between children, parents, the charitable sector, and the private sector key sponsor which has been wonderful. Truly, an antidote to any pessimism that these times may bring, and a sign of the can-do spirit which would wish to demonstrate.  The completion of the appeal couldn’t have come at a better time and will really help to address questions of space and safe access in this new period we will be entering in September. The playground expansion and new external door will be of enormous value in helping the school to reopen as safely as possible, as well as providing more outdoor space for the children to enjoy. We are very grateful to everybody who has contributed to make this happen. I can’t wait to see it in September. 

The works will include:

  • Removing the car park running alongside the side of the junior school building and opening this space to children, creating approx. 450 square metres of new playground.
  • Opening new and existing entrances/exits from the junior building onto this new playground space, reducing congestion inside and improving emergency exit provision.
  • Renovations to the infant playground to improve safety.
  • Decorating the new junior playground with designs by Holly Park pupils.
  • Major tarmac works to improve safety in the new playground.

Chokhmah’s 11th Birthday Run for Holly Park School

Y6 pupil Chokhmah has been doing a 5K run every day for ten days and on the 11th day (his birthday) he ran 10K. Chokhmah did this to raise money for Holly Park playground as a thank you for the time he has had at the school and because he developed his love of competitive running at Holly Park. Thank you to Chokhmah who raised over £1,000 for the playground.

As most of you will be aware, we had some fantastic news just before we came back from the Easter break when the crowdfunding deadline passed for the Big Appeal for a playground extension at Holly Park Primary School, and we found that thanks to the generosity of our parents and friends we had sailed past the initial £5,000 target, eventually ending up at a total of £6,473. With Gift Aid to be added to this figure, we anticipate that this stage of our wider fundraising plan will have yielded over £8,500.

Combined with the incredible support of local estate agent Austin Chambers and contributions from the Parent Teacher Association, this takes us over three-quarters of the way towards our overall target of £40,000. 

We are very hopeful that further fundraising efforts over the coming months will close this remaining gap and allow us to deliver this ambitious project. I am very grateful to the work of the Fundraising Committee which includes members of the PTA, the Governing Body and school staff. We were anxious, it’s fair to say, about whether to run the appeal at precisely the time when schools were closed, but we are so thrilled by the outcome. The comments that some of you left on the website left us in no doubt that your generosity was based on a shared spirit of ‘community’, and the Holly Park community has come together in these momentous moments in ways we could hardly have imagined, all inspired by the single aim of delivering the best possible continuity of care for both this current generation of Holly Parkers and the ones to come.

As you can imagine, we cannot be certain about what the timetable for the works will now be, but the Committee remains optimistic that the works could take place over the summer. I will keep you posted about this.   But, for now, simply: ‘thank you!’

John Harte – chair of the Fundraising Committee

How can you help?

Employer match-funding schemes

Many larger companies offer match-funding schemes whereby the employer matches donations made to registered charities by their employees.  Does your employer operate this kind of scheme? Would you consider using it to make a match-funded gift to the school?

Links to local businesses

We are looking for local businesses who might support the Appeal. Do you have connections to a business in the area that might be interested in helping a local community school?

Get in touch

If you would like to get in touch about supporting the Big Holly Park Appeal, or have questions about the campaign, please contact John Harte on

Thanks in advance for your support!

We had lots of imaginative ideas for our playground designs. Here are some of them: