The Friends of Debdale Park acts as an umbrella organisation for a number of projects based in the park:
The Debdale Diggers is the new name for the Volunteer Gardening Group, which was set up in 2012 in collaboration with the Eco-Centre and Park Management helps to maintain the flower beds and borders. Some fifteen to twenty volunteers have worked on a weekly basis.
Men’s Shed – Debdale is a place for men (& women) to socialise and engage in practical projects including woodwork, bike maintenance and gardening. The Shed is about social connections and friendship building, sharing skills and knowledge and lots of tea and laughter!
Debdale Bowling Club is a long established club for local people and has recently been extending its facilities after refurbishing its pavilion.
Gorton Pagan Moot meets regularly throughout the year to talk about all things Pagan/Spiritual. In 2020 they hope to host the first ever Gorton Pagan Pride, here in Debdale Park.
Green Fingers Gardening Project provides a gardening experience for adults with learning difficulties which now has charitable status.
The Health Walks Project – run in conjunction with the NHS Physical Activity Referral Service (PARS) – continue to organise walks around the park and surrounding area on a weekly basis for up to about twenty participants. The newly refurbished reservoir paths paid for by funds raised by the Friends has greatly encouraged the project.
Hammer & Nails Woodwork Project for adults with special needs is located in the outhouses of Gorton House and provides a weekly woodworking experience for over twenty participants. It is run in conjunction with MCC Adult Care.
The Community Cafe has been opened regularly during the summer months and on special event days for park users and is staffed by volunteers. The rooms have recently been decorated by the Friends.
Cycling for Health was set up in 2012 to encourage the public to cycle on the extensive trackways in the park and surrounding area by providing bikes and tuition. The group meets on a weekly basis and has an average of fifteen participants. The scheme is being expanded to provide further sessions and training has been provided in First Aid and bicycle maintenance with plans to open a Cycle Centre.
Debdale Angling Society took out a lease on Upper Gorton reservoir in 2013 and has now created access points for fishing and is working on improving the pathway along the reservoir.
The Nursery in the Park
Gorton Visual Arts Group has now moved its studio into the Aviary where it holds weekly art and craft classes for local people. Its works, such as mosaics and murals, enhance the local area.
Gorton Heritage Trail is a project is being developed by a group of local historians, residents and interested people.
Heroes Wood is a memorial to all those who had given their lives in the two world wars from the Gorton area.
The Friends co-ordinate and promote the work of all projects based in the park so as to make them sustainable and effective in reaching out into the community.