This play space is in memory of Reuben's joy in play, and his family have said that they hope it provides much joy and adventure for friends and strangers alike.
The local community, plus friends and family further afield, have donated funds to the crowdfunder and organised many exciting and varied events from bagel brunches to triathlons, pub quizzes to a published book, to raise funds for the build.
Sima Cutting of The Kitchen Table has spearheaded the fundraising and organised the build alongside Reuben's parents, Tom Williams and Frankie Gould. They would like to offer a heartfelt thanks for all the generous and creative fundraising efforts.
Frankie said: "My father originally suggested a memorial for Reuben, like a bench but more for children and asked Tom and I where and what might appropriately honour his memory. We immediately thought of Vire Island as Reuben loved playing there, he'd refer to it as 'his island' and would sit on a bench and eat his chips with us, while we tried to fend off the increasingly 'friendly' seagulls. Then we'd chase squirrels as they hid on the other sides of trees to dogs. We have many fond memories of Reuben climbing, crawling, balancing and playing on the existing Earthwrights play areas at the Leechwell gardens and on the Dartington estate, so we are thrilled that Earthwrights are building this memorial play structure for us. Such an amazing community effort has come together in making this happen, which as well as making the project financially possible has helped an entire community honour the memory of one adventurous small child. Hopefully it'll pay its reward in the enjoyment of many small hands and feet in the years to come."
The playspace has been designed by Earthwrights to be an interactive sculpture that can be played on and enjoyed by all ages. The central feature can act as a ladder, a bridge and a bench, and is surrounded by a sequence of balancing challenges, including rope bridges, stepping logs and a spiral log staircase. A tepee area provides a perfect space for a den and adventure planning.
Mike Jones of Earthwrights said: "The sculpture is designed for all ages; we imagine adults lounging in the sun while children run around, toddlers crawl underneath and older children leap from log to log."
The land at Vire Island is owned by South Hams District Council, who have fully supported the development and worked with the contractors and Rueben's parents. The sculpture is small enough to not require planning permission or formal permits from the Environment Agency.
Cllr Robert Vint, Ward Member for Totnes, said: "This is a wonderful memorial to Reuben and we were thrilled to be able to help bring it about. All the Members and staff at South Hams District Council were profoundly affected by Reuben's death, so close to Christmas last year. To see something that so many children and parents will enjoy come out of a tragedy is deeply moving and I hope that everyone will enjoy this space for many years to come, and think of Reuben as they do."