Pidley teenagers Joy and Lily take first step towards making their playground dreams come true

TWO teenagers have won �3,000 to help make their dream of creating a place to meet and play in their Huntingdonshire village come true.

Friends Lily Steward, 14, and Joy Ayres, 13, first made a plea two years ago for play equipment in Pidley by writing a letter to the Pidley-cum-Fenton Parish Council.

There is no park for children and teenagers in Pidley to meet and not even a green space for young people to hang out. It means youngsters who live in the village often don’t know each other as many go to different schools.

After Lily won a flip camera in a photography competition run by charity Cambridgeshire ACRE aimed at encouraging residents to get involved with community planning, the pair went on to create their own film detailing their plight.

With the help of neighbour Rebecca Harper, Lily and Joy organised a consultation day in the village hall and conducted interviews with other residents for the film.

The footage, which they edited, was also incorporated in the village’s community plan.

Rachael Brown, community advisor at charity Cambridgeshire ACRE, said: “We came along in April last year and we held an initial meeting with Pidley Parish Council for the Neighbourhood Challenge.

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“The aim of the project is to investigate the potential for social action in the rural communities. We wanted to know how many people are out there willing to do things to start helping themselves and to start taking the opportunities offered by localism.

“Lily and Joy, along with their neighbour Rebecca Harper, stood up at the meeting and read a letter that they had written. We kept in contact with them.

“We held a photography day in the village and asked people to give us their impressions of the village. Lily won a flip camera and the girls used it to create a film about how they would like a play area.

“As part of the film, they held a day in the village hall, where they asked people to come along and talk about how they would like a play area and what they would like.”

Last month, after submitting their film to the NESTA Neighbourhood Challenge, the girls, who both go to Abbey College in Ramsey, were awarded funding.

With the money, the girls, working with the parish council, plan to hold a consultation to find out more about the kind of equipment the village needs.

A potential site for the play area also needs to be identified.

Joy’s mum Jackie said: “They dreamed up the project themselves. They just thought it would be nice to have somewhere to meet. They are older and they want a meeting place, somewhere to sit and chill and meet their friends.

“They are not going to be playing in the park, but they want to do this for other youngsters. They are thinking about others. They have enjoyed doing it and it has been a challenge for them.

“It is good that when they want to do something, they have been motivated enough to do it.”

INFORMATION: Anyone with suggestions for a site or potential play equipment should contact Joy and Lily at