Play Area Puts Leo’s Name on the Map


21st December 2023

Children at Hanbury C of E First School celebrated the launch of a spectacular new play area, built to celebrate the life of one of their beloved classmates.

Leo Mercer died suddenly, shortly after joining his brother, Finley as a pupil at Hanbury School in September, 2022.

“Leo’s Landing” is a play area that includes a bespoke two story play ship.  It has been designed in collaboration with the Mercer family and a family friend at play structure design company CapCo to capture Leo’s character, interests and personality.  

Leo is celebrated in every corner of “Leo’s Landing”, with areas including “Dandelion Dock”, “Dino Dunes” and “Rhino Rock”.

The area is dominated by “HFS Leo”, which Finley, Eva and Jason Mercer officially “launched” today.

They said: “Leo would have loved this ship!”

“There are so many of his favourite adventures inside that we are happy to share with the Hanbury children.  Enjoy being pirates!”

Funds to transform the playground into an area were raised by The Friends of Hanbury School and from donations made at Leo’s Celebration of Life.  Thanks to their efforts, it now offers children at the school a wonderful place for imaginative and creative play.

“We are incredibly thankful to everyone for their support in providing a unique and personal project that truly honours Leo's memory,” said Headteacher, Aaron McDonagh.

“We are in awe of the way Eva, Jason and Finley have been determined to bring joy to so many children in Leo’s name,” he added.  “Leo will always be a part of the Hanbury Family and we are proud that this new area in our school will mean his name lives on.”