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St John’s School blazes trail with fire engine

Children from St John’s Primary School in Ipswich are having a blast on their latest piece of play equipment – a 19-foot long fire engine which comfortably fits 20-plus children.

It’s a new piece of play equipment made by the Ipswich social enterprise business Realise Futures Eco Furniture, which makes furniture and play equipment for outdoor spaces from 100 per cent recycled plastics.
Staff at Eco Furniture’s factory in The Drift, Ipswich, have made it out of recycled plastic planks which, in turn, are made up of thousands of plastic bags, bottles and CD cases otherwise destined for landfill sites.

St John’s head teacher Mrs Janita Betts (pictured with children from the school) said: The children have really enjoyed this play equipment, and have been using it for imaginative play during breaks.

“Our reception class has a theme of ‘Transport’ and have really enjoyed using the fire engine as part of their class learning. As a school, we feel that this has been a fantastic addition to our playground facilities.”

Eco Furniture is part of the award winning social enterprise Realise Futures which specialises in manufacturing outdoor furniture for parks and public spaces, including Colchester Zoo, Jimmy’s Farm and Alton Water.

Eco Furniture Business Development Manager, Kieron Lingard, said: “Our new fire engine supersedes an earlier model. We’ve improved the practicalities of the design. Now it’s much larger and more realistic looking, available in red or green. We think it’s perfect for schools, nurseries and play areas.”

All of Eco Furniture’s products are weather proof and need no maintenance.
The company won the British Chamber of Commerce’s Sustainability Award in the East of England for its innovative products delivering environmental and social benefits two-and-a-half years ago.

Realise Futures specialises in supporting people who are disabled and disadvantaged. It is a specialist provider of employment support services, learning and development and a leading provider of careers advice services in East Anglia.

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