“It was a real joy and privilege to visit the Friends of Debdale Park. This is the best example of group cohesion that I have ever come across. I highly recommend them.
It was constituted over ten years ago, with the focus on protection, maintenance and improvement of the park. The committee consists of members of the public, plus representatives of organisations active in the park. Meetings are monthly and open to the public. Driven by passion for this facility and its environs, the group constantly reviews its modus operandi, learning from its success or otherwise, monitoring via public consultation – sharing and striving to meet the needs of all. This truly is the People’s Park.
To date, they have restored buildings providing much used meeting rooms, indoor play/education space, cafe, toilets and bowling pavilion and two greens to the highest standard. “The best in the region” according to the Chairman of the League. Various steering groups have been set up to oversee further refurbishment projects, working in partnership with Condo Communities to provide training and support for the development of the volunteers working in the park.
The Mission Statement is to provide a welcoming, healthy, accessible, safe high quality park which, through partnership and effective community agreement, meets a diverse range of needs and aspirations on a sustainable basis. This group is most certainly achieving all that. Speaking to volunteers from various user groups the bond of cooperation, sharing skills and support for each other to enable them to attain their goals is outstanding. A new group that is about to reopen the Beehive building to provide much needed child care, could only stress and praise the warmth of welcome, support and advice they had received.
Volunteers from the Cycling for Health Group were keen to point out to me that Hammer and Nails Woodwork Project and the Green Fingers Project had evolved to give wider opportunities for adults with special needs who use the cycling group. These user groups also have volunteers and, I’m guessing, in total 75. Their links with the wider community is remarkable.”