Ryley Reed opens Llangors Play Park

A community-led project to provide a children’s play park to a Powys village has reached its conclusion.

Dozens of Llangors residents came together on Saturday to watch 11-year-old Ryley Reed formally open the brand new play park.

The play park has been built alongside the village’s Community Centre, which has safe, easy access to the community-run shop. The new facility is a safe place for children to play and have fun outdoors and families to have a coffee or picnic. The area also provides a space for older people to meet, chat and enjoy beautiful views of the national park.

The park project is a community triumph, with more than £35,000 of the total cost raised by local people.

Llangors Play Park
The community of Llangors has come together to raise the money to fund the brand new play park (B&R)

Chair of the project group, Melrose East addressed residents on Saturday in the community centre.

“This community has really excelled itself,” said Ms East. “We are extremely grateful to all of the community, as I know you’ve all contributed in various ways. Either through volunteering, organising events, supporting events or even putting your odd bits of change in the donation buckets dotted around.”

The total cost of the play park project was just shy of £80,000.

“Approximately half of that total, more than £35,000, was raised within the community,” said Ms East. “That is an amazing amount.”

Ms East also thanked Powys County Council, Llangors Community Council, the local farming community, Mike and Michelle Tunnicliffe from the Castle Inn, the Co-op store in Talgarth, the Morrisons Foundation, Llangors Cubs and Scouts and Brecon Rotary Club, among others.

“One person stands head and shoulders above everyone else when it comes to fundraising,” said Ms East. “Ryley has raised over £7,000 for this play park, through quite difficult circumstances.”

Ryley Reed, 11, suffered a stroke in January 2021, when he was just nine years old. Following this, Ryley was encouraged to use play equipment to aid his recovery.

Ms East explained: “At that time we didn’t have anything like that in Llangors.

“So to help his recovery, to ensure that all the children in the village could benefit, he set about fundraising for the play park.

“He is a remarkable young person, and we are all extremely grateful to you, Ryley, for your tremendous efforts, and we wish you good health in the future.”

£45,543 was also awarded to the project from the National Lottery Community Fund, which was announced in December.

“It was one of the best Christmas presents I’ve ever had,” said Ms East.

Llangors Play Park
Left to right: Simone Lowthe-Thomas from the National Lottery Community Fund, Melrose East and Ryley Reed. (B&R)

The brand new Llangors Play Park

Llangors residents and local representatives then ventured out into the rain to watch Ryley unveil the plaque and formally open the new play park.

The play park is the culmination of a vision which several local residents had some years ago for the formation of a community hub in the heart of the village.

Without a local shop and public transport, residents felt very isolated.

Llangors Siop
Siop Llangors, the comminity-run shop in the village, opened in November 2021. The shop and play park is part of a wider vision to create a community hub within Llangors (Image supplied)

The community hub comprises of a new primary school, new shop, community centre and play area, all within easy distance of each other and offering facilities for all ages.