Patsy Kensit plays big role in Chardstock

Actress re-opens village playground - and speaks to the Midweek Herald.

A top celebrity has re-opened a village playground, voted worthy of a �15,000 make-over by residents.

Actress Patsy Kensit, a former child star who went on to land top film and television roles, rubbed shoulders with villagers in Chardstock on Monday and declared the play area open.

The 43-year-old is a supporter of a grants scheme, Parents for Playgrounds, run by Robinsons Fruit Shoot and backed by Play England.

Chardstock received a whopping �15,000 from the scheme.

Patsy, most recently famed for her role in Holby City, told the Midweek Herald: “It is fantastic to be able to open this playground. The children are absolutely lovely.

“Play is so important to get them mixing with other children in different social situations - learning the laws of the jungle, rather than staying at home watching DVDs or playing computer games.”

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The mother-of-two added: “As parents, we want a safe, nice place for the children to go.

“We are living in pretty tough times and are having so much taken away, so, to give such a generous amount of money to such a great cause, with all the effort that has been put in, is wonderful.”

Local mum and committee member of the Chardstock Park Trust Carol Humpreys nominated the playground for the award and galvanised the community to beat off stiff competition from larger contenders.

The re-opening of the revamped playground was the culmination of two years’ hard work by the trust and saw the site being used once again after being padlocked shut. Carol said: “It is lovely to see the kids back playing again.”

The secretary of the trust, Donna Jacobs, added: “It will make a huge amount of difference, as children in the village have now got somewhere to call their own.”

Local school children have been involved in the project and gave suggestions as to what equipment they wanted to use.

Eight-year-old Jessica Richards said: “The playground is really good. It was really nice to meet Patsy.”

He sister Katie, 10, added: “It has got better equipment and is a safe place to play in.”