Skye play park gets £2,000 bingo night boost

Supporters and fundraisers are pictured at the site of where the new play park will be built.

A fundraising bingo night in Portree has pulled in £2,000 for a new play park which has been earmarked to open in the Skye capital next Easter.

On Saturday night, a fun-filled evening of bingo organised by project volunteers Kayrn MacRae and Ashley O’Rourke and led by caller Stuart Jackson, drew a crowd of 80 people to the Royal Hotel in Portree to raise funds for the play park.

The plan to develop a new asset for the community in the town’s Matheson Place has been costed around £110,000 and is being led by a sub-group of the Portree and Braes Community Trust headed up by local resident Tiffany Maberley.

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Speaking to the Free Press, Tiffany said she was ecstatic at the funds raised on the night and the support shown by the local community.

“They raised £2,000 from the bingo night,” she told the Free Press.

“I am over the moon, we have now got more of the community involved in helping with the process – everyone is on board with it.

“It was arranged by Kayrn MacRae and Ashley O’Rourke, they live right next to the park, and have kids that will go to there.

“We have a group chat, and it was Kayrn’s idea – as she had run a bingo night for the shinty a few years ago.”

She went on to say: “They managed to get 30-odd businesses to give prizes, there were 21 prizes for the bingo, and I don’t know how many were given out through the raffle, but there was well over £2,000 worth of prizes that went out.”

The play park will comprise 17 different play activities including four swings, an octopus seesaw, a carousel, a four-tower unit with a tunnel and a slide, it will be able to accommodate 55 users of all ages and will include facilities for children with special needs.

A vision of what the new play park might look like.

Despite the success of the bingo night, there is no rest for the project team who will be out in force at this Saturday’s Autumn Fling event at Portree’s King George V Park to continue the fundraising drive in earnest.

Tiffany said: “On Saturday, several of us will be volunteering at the bouncy castle and then stewarding at the dance later, we will have a jumble sale stall and we will also be selling homemade cakes.

“We will get a cut of the bouncy castle receipts for volunteering on the day which will go toward the play park.”

Commenting on the proposed opening of the facility, she said: “The plan is to get all the funds in by Christmas time, and to start the groundwork in February/ March. “

Tiffany told the Free Press that Stuart MacPhee from the Highland Council, who overseeing the project, has told the group that installation of the facilities will take five weeks from start to finish.

She added: “We plan to have it finished and opened by the Easter Holidays next year.”

For more information about the play park project, click here.

Article by Adam Gordon, image by Willie Urquhart.