Page Park campaigners are ‘over the moon’ with prize
Published on: 28 Mar 2016
THEY recently hit the headline after securing a whopping £1.6 million lottery grant to improve the green lung of Staple Hill, now the Friends of Page Park have won a very different award.
The group travelled up to Nottingham to attend the prestigious Love Parks Awards, which recognises the achievements of community groups, volunteers and local authorities who have helped make a positive difference to parks and green spaces across the country.
Friends vice chair Steph Purser, who attended the event with husband John and council green spaces officer Chris Giles, couldn’t quite believe her ears when they scooped the ultimate accolade - Group of the Year, Outstanding Achievement Award.
“We’re over the moon,” Steph told Downend Voice.
“We were the last category to be read out and were shocked when they called our name out. There were six or seven other Friends groups that had been shortlisted in that category and some of them were from groups that represented country parks, woods and valleys, some over 650 acres! Page Park is only 19 acres so we didn’t think we had a chance.
“The Heritage lottery award is a big achievement and will help the regeneration of the area so it’s nice our work has been recognised. It was also really lovely to be with so many people who were so passionate about their parks and open spaces.”
They were presented with a framed certificate and glass trophy by the Sheriff of Nottingham, Cllr Mohammed Saghir.
The ceremony, on March 17, took place at the Council House in Nottingham, and included talks from experts on protecting and improving green spaces.
The judging panel was made up of a mixture of green space professionals and volunteers.
The Love Parks Awards, which were the first ever, were organised by the charity Keep Britain Tidy.
The Friends’ initiative to regenerate Page Park saw nominations in two other categories - Volunteer of the Year, in which Steph was commended for her hard work and dedication, and the Partnership Award, for which South Gloucestershire Council was also commended for its ‘special’ working relationship with the Friends.
Steph said: “Many groups across the country have to battle with their local authority - we don’t have to do that with our local council; we get very good support.”
Meanwhile, work on the park is steaming ahead with the path running from the pavilion along the side of Park Road just completed and an activity manager appointed. Work on the play area is expected to start later this month.