Jenny Jones announces 'London Hometown Hero' winner
Published Thursday, October 1, 2015 1:18PM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, October 1, 2015 6:18PM EDT
A London daycare provider's idea to build a state-of-the-art accessible playground at Springbank Park has won former talk show host Jenny Jones' 'Hometown Hero' prize of US$100,000.
Shelah Brook, who was one of hundreds of applicants who sent her idea to Jones, got a surprise phone call from the TV star on Thursday.
Brook's idea is to build a playground to is accessible to all children and their families as a centerpiece in Springbank Park.
The married mother of five adult children has lived in London for 30 years with her husband, who works for the London Police Service.
Jones said in a statement, "It was so hard to choose just one but I am beyond excited about this decision...because I wanted my gift to be long lasting and to bring fun and joy to as many people as possible. And this will definitely do both.”
The decision was also influenced by the fact that a new playground in the city was the most common request among all the applications.
Among the hundreds of other ideas submitted for the 'Hometown Hero' contest, a few others were also repeatedly frequently, including: helping the homeless, community gardens, Thames River projects and help for seniors, among others.
Jones has reportedly already been in touch with a city planner so they can work to design an inclusive playground with "as much fun as the budget can buy."
“I’ll be counting the days until I can come to London to see the new playground, in the same spot where I myself played as a child,” Jones said.
She will be posting updates about the progress on the playground on her blog at jennyjones.com.
The playground is expected to be installed in the spring, and Jones hopes to visit the city for the opening.