Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Victory in Fight for Play Area

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Victory in Fight for Play Area

Article excerpt

Byline: By Paul McMillan

Parents of a boy who fell to his death while retrieving a football look like they have won their two-year battle to have a safe play area dedicated to his memory.

Ten-year-old Jordan Toward fell through the roof of the Geoffrey Rhodes Centre, near his home in Elvet Court, Byker, while retrieving the ball in May 2004.

Since then his parents Julie, 38, and Martin 41, have been tirelessly campaigning for a safe play area for neighbourhood children.

Now, on the date of what would have been Jordan's 12th birthday, the Towards believe their fight could be at an end.

Newcastle City Council has fenced off part of a large field next to Algernon Road, near their home.

As part of a six-month trial, mini-goalposts will be put in the field and a sign designating it as a play area will be placed outside.

It is hoped the play area will be used exclusively by under-12s and not be a nuisance for the area's elderly residents. If the trial is successful, the Towards hope a memorial bench for Jordan can be placed on the site.

Julie said: "We are really pleased about it. It's not entirely what we wanted but it's a little better than what the children had before, because they had nothing.

"We have no date on when it will be ready but children are playing there at the moment. Children are still being chased away but when it's ready there will be a sign saying the under-12s are allowed.

"We are just pleased that we have got something finally. It was starting to look like we would not get anything."

The family intend to mark what would have been their son's birthday quietly and feelings are still raw.

Julie explained: "We are going to go up to the cemetery and we are going to put his name in the paper, but his memory is with us all the time. This play area will be a fitting tribute. …

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