"We love telling the story of the park and the important part it has played in the development of childrens play. "
Tracey Clarke, Community Link Manager
Wicksteed Park has been rewarded for its heritage education programme with a national award.
The Kettering park was selected for a 2019 Sandford Award following an inspection of the programme it offers to schools and educational establishments. It is due to formally receive the award in a ceremony later this year.
In his assessment of the park’s educational programme, judge Eric Steed praised the skill displayed by the education team in using excitement and anticipation to help students to learn about and to appreciate the work and the achievements of the park’s founder, Charles Wicksteed, the creator of swings and slides as we know them today.
He installed his creations at Wicksteed Park, Kettering, the park he founded in 1921 as part of his vision to inspire and encourage play as part of families' health and well-being.
Mr Steed added: “A visit to Wicksteed Park is a joy for visitors of all ages. The. School group visits are days of fun coupled with fascinating learning when teachers liaise with the resident education staff to enable students to understand that people of former times lived lives that were not so very different from our own.
“They too played the same games, had the same desire to learn and understand how their ancestors lived. Visitors to Wicksteed Park are lucky because the members of the education team are able to teach all these things in ways that are memorable.”
Tracey Clarke, Wicksteed Park’s Community Link Manager, said: “We are delighted to receive the park’s first ever Sandford Award.
“We love telling the story of the park and the important part it has played in the development of children’s play and the award is high recognition indeed for the work we are doing.”
The Sandford Awards were named after their founder Lord Sandford. Now in its 40th year - over 500 sites - including historic houses, museums, galleries, places of worship, gardens, landscapes and collections – have received an Award since the scheme began in 1978.
The Awards focus on formal, curriculum-linked education opportunities offered to schools by heritage sites, although recognition is also made of informal learning such as family programmes.