A TREEHOUSE dedicated to the memory of a boy who died aged just four has been entered for the York Design Awards.

Jake’s Treehouse was created in 2017 in the grounds of Robert Wilkinson School in Strensall, near York, which Jake Smith attended.

Jake, who had Dravet Syndrome, a rare and severe form of epilepsy, died in December 2016 after suffering a seizure at home.

His family were eager to do something to remember their son and York-based designers Playscheme built the educational and recreational space.

Playscheme said in its entry for two awards - in the 'commercial small' and 'public/community small' categories - that Jake’s family had wanted something that would be there for a long time and that would give something back to his friends and peers.

“The fundraising began in March 2017 with a target of £25,000,” it said.

“The generosity of others was phenomenal, with members of the community holding bake sales and taking part in marathons, triathlons and bike rides to raise money for the treehouse.

“An amazing total of £31,000 was raised, with the remaining money being donated to two charities close to the hearts of Jake’s family.”

It said Playscheme designed a space to be elevated off the ground with a raised walkway, tree platform, clatter bridge and a sensory gazebo.

“The gazebo was designed as an educational and recreational outdoor space for children to learn and play in.

“Jake’s personality is reflected in the quirky angles, which give a sense of his liveliness and enthusiasm.

“The coloured windows and lantern style sky light allow coloured and natural light to flood into the gazebo.”

It said a ‘mystical and magical appearance’ had also been created through the use of angled windows and cedar shingles, with extended posts along the walkway and platform perfect for hanging bunting or for building dens.

It said pupils were involved in the building, and a planting space was included in the area, and on the opening day, families brought along beautiful flowers to plant in Jake’s memory.

It concluded: “The project is a testament to what a community can do when they get behind a family to support them.”

The York Design Awards, now in its 13th year, is intended to encourage and promote excellence in design and conservation, ‘striving for the highest standards which will delight present and future generations’.

The York Press People’s Award allows the city’s residents to make the decision, and Playscheme has indicated it would like its treehouse to be considered for this award.