From Russia with love… to Dingle

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Supermodel Natalia Vodianova making a change- (Flickr- Cecile G)

Supermodel Natalia Vodianova making a change- (Flickr- Cecile G)

A Siberian supermodel is helping to pay for a new playground for children in Liverpool’s Dingle area to enjoy.

Natalia Vodianovacreated her charity, The Naked Heart Foundation, because she had nowhere to play as a child and while they have funded playgrounds across Russia, this is one of their first in the UK.

Two representatives from Naked Heart, Oxana Medvedeva and Genia Mineeva, will be joining Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson for a press call before work starts on the new playground on Northumberland Street in Dingle on Monday, 14th January.

Local ward councillor Steve Munby explained: “Dingle desperately needed a new playground so when we heard about this Russian charity, we got in touch.

“It’s certainly unusual for a scheme like this to be funded from somewhere like Russia and we are extremely grateful for their £50k contribution to the new playground scheme.”

The scheme is also receiving funding from the Morgan Foundation, Plus Dane Housing and Liverpool City Council while The Flanagan Group, contractor for the playground, is working at cost.

Coun Munby added: “We would like to thank everyone who is helping with this much needed safe place to play for the children of Dingle.”

The playground, costing just over £100k in total, has been designed by local children and should be ready for them to enjoy in the Easter holidays.

It also includes a sports area for five-a-side football and netball, and mini-allotments for the children to grow flowers and vegetables.

Mayor Joe Anderson is looking forward to the visit. He said: “This is a much needed community resource for the children of Dingle and it is certainly one of the more unusual funding packages!

“I’d like to thank all the amazing volunteers who have worked so hard for many years in Dingle to help the children to grow and develop.”

The scheme has been developed with local voluntary group Southern Neighbourhood Council, (SNC), who run a community centre on the site next door to the new playground.

About Sanna Zahid, JMU Journalism