The Eoropie Dunes Play Park is managed by a charity called Guth Airson Iarrtasan Nis, or 'GAIN' as it's more commonly called. The charity's name means, 'A Voice for the Needs of Ness' in the native Scots Gaelic language that is still spoken extensively in rural Lewis.
Set up in 1998 “to enhance play and leisure facilities and encourage environmental awareness,” GAIN strives to be a user-led voluntary organisation that offers safe and engaging outdoor play and leisure facilities that are sympathetic to its natural 'machair' and dune surroundings.
A group of mothers who had no local playground for their children established GAIN in 1998 to work towards creating a modern play and leisure space on ground adjacent to the beach at Eoropie, which was kindly donated by the crofting families who traditionally worked the sandy 'machair' land along the west coast of Lewis.
At the time, the nearest quality play facility was situated in the island's main town of Stornoway, which meant a 60 mile round trip for families. A survey of parents of pre-school children at the local nursery demonstrated a desire for a local play space and a willingness to work toward this aim by forming GAIN to research and bring forward the project.
Following a huge effort by the GAIN team and volunteers within the community an exciting play space was created from the living earth, with every effort being made to develop the site sympathetically and in keeping with the contours and natural environment of the existing landscape.
The children have proved to be a valuable asset in the planning, design and project phase. They have enthusiastically helped with fund raising and their on-going input is valued by the Management Committee.