Play company to be possible game changer for Children’s Appeal


Playdale Playgrounds Ltd, the UK’s leading manufacturer of children’s outdoor play equipment, has chosen Lancashire Teaching Hospital Charity’s Children’s Appeal as its charity of the year for 2022.

The multi award winning company, which exports to 51 countries across the world, is based in the South Lakes town of Ulverston but has a connection to the Preston area and Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust through its CEO Barry Leahey MBE.

Mr Leahey, 47, who lives in Samlesbury with his wife Louise and six-year-old daughter Arabella and who received his MBE in the 2017 Queen’s Birthday Honours List for services to international trade, agreed to become a Children’s Appeal patron last summer.

He also nominated the appeal for Playdale’s charity of the year award, which means that money raised by Playdale’s annual challenges and socials will go towards the appeal’s £1 million target to purchase a range of items chosen to improve children’s in and out-patients at the Royal Preston Hospital and across other local centres managed by Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust where children are assessed and treated.

Mr Leahey, who in 2018 was named as the Institute of Directors “Global Director of the Year” and is a former chair of the Institute of Directors in Cumbria as well as an honorary professor at both Lancaster and Cumbria Universities, said: “I am delighted my nomination won the support of my Playdale colleagues and I am looking forward to growing the relationship between Playdale and the Children’s Appeal.”

“I am passionate about providing environments in which children can thrive. I also have a family connection to Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust through my mum Nicola Leahey. She used to work in the Trust’s clinical governance and audit department before retiring and then joined its council of governors and was Lead Governor before stepping down in 2020. I share her desire to help the Trust provide the best level of care possible.”

Fundraising manager Roya Armstrong said: “We are thrilled the Children’s Appeal has been chosen as Playdale’s charity of the year for 2022. It recognises the importance of what we are trying to do in terms of making all of the Trust’s children’s assessment and treatment areas essentially more child-friendly.

“We want to create comfortable, healing environments for children and their parents and carers – areas that are equal to the fantastic staff looking after them with their high levels of clinical excellence, skill and dedication.”

Items on the list include indoor and outdoor play equipment, virtual sky ceiling panels, more reclining chairs for parent sleep-overs on the children’s ward, televisions, better interior décor and special parental support zones.

To watch a video explaining more about the Children’s Appeal, become involved or make a donation, go to

Playdale Playgrounds Ltd has designed, manufactured and installed over 23,000 playgrounds in the UK and around the world for over 40 years. It is a family-owned business based in the North West of England. The family business dates back to 1735 when the Croasdale family began working in the forestry and allied timber trades. It progressed into the playground industry in 1978, when Playdale Playgrounds Ltd was established. The company prides itself on providing an Experience of high-quality products matched with a high-quality service. For further information, go to