Friends of Chances Park AGM

Mar 22, 2018   //   by friendsparkadmin   //   Latest News  //  No Comments

Chairman’s Report 2017

We started the year with a questionnaire given out to park users to find out how they felt about the park eight years after the regeneration funded by the lottery.

We got a really good response with over 120 returned, and on the whole it seems everyone appreciates our beautiful park. However only 60% were satisfied with the range of activities offered and the two favourite suggestions (over 75%) for additions to the facilities were a labyrinth and adult exercise equipment. The Friends have therefore begun planning for a labyrinth on the performance area. It is also hoped that the adult exercise equipment could be a future project in conjunction with the Green Space team

The park continues to be used and enjoyed on daily basis and the footfall total for 2017 was 212,553, excluding those not entering through the gates. Parkrun. Over the last year – 1962 different runners took part and completed 11214 runs. We also had 171 different volunteers. In addition, we’ve welcomed tourists from all over the Uk and from the USA, Australia and New Zealand.

Thanks to the city council for gifting us a grit bin for use in icy weather. We celebrated our 5 th birthday on the 20 th January – that's 43,950 runs, 5,083 different participants, 7,856 PB’s and a total distance of 219,750km run. On Saturday we welcomed 258 finishers, 17 first timers and a lone first time tourist from………….Penrith!

The T’ai chi group meets on Monday mornings weather permitting in the beautiful park, or in the manor if not, and Chances Park regular Healthy Living walk takes place every Monday afternoon. Details are on the website if you would like to join these groups. You can also check out the Friends of Chances Park Facebook page to keep up to date with events.

We are very proud of the fact that once again Chances Park was awarded Green Flag status and also that this year in July the park were chosen to be one of the venues for Cumbria Schools to do their orienteering.

In July young people doing their National Citizens Award chose our park as their project and did some edging, litter picking and general tidying. Then in September a small team from James Rennie School who were also going in for the Award cleaned signage and painted rubbing white on the park. Other park users said how nice it was to see young people working on the park and how polite they were. Thanks to Green Space for supplying tools and picking up all the bags of rubbish/leaves collected.

The one real disappointment of the year was that the Fairy Day had to be cancelled due to an eleventh hour increase in the exhibitors' public liability insurance requirement. Hopefully the event can be reinstated at a future date. Body Mind Spirit Day in September however, was a great success and enjoyed by visitors and exhibitors alike.

Richard and Sue Dixon from RSPB helped with the annual cleaning out of bird boxes with good results. Most boxes had been used by blue tits, grey tits, tree sparrows. They also take on the job of any repairs required so thank you to Richard and Sue.

On the 1 st of December the children from Newlaithes School planted thousands of bluebell bulbs so look out for them in the spring.

This year the Community Centre hosted Christmas Carols in the manor in December and I believe it was as popular as ever.

Of course these projects wouldn't be possible without our fundraising events, which brings me to all the people who give their time voluntarily. Whether in helping organize events, delivering minutes, selling raffle tickets, litter picking or reporting lights out, all of these important tasks help keep our beautiful Green Flag park for all to enjoy.

I really can’t mention everyone by name but I must say a special thanks to the Greenspace team who are always willing to help us – working together on specific projects and in the day to day projects too – we do know how lucky we are. We would also like to pass on our thanks to Richard Reynolds our designated gardener.

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