Newsletter Nov 21

FOCP COMMITTEE – What have we been up to?

It might not look like ‘The Friends’ have been doing anything major in the last few months, but rest assured we have been trying to plug away on various things behind the scenes. 

Back in Spring ‘21, we launched a £50K by May fundraising campaign.  This was to raise £25k to finish off Phase 2 of the Children’s playground and £25k to construct a footpath leading from the playground to the northern perimeter of the park and meet the existing brook path.  This fundraising campaign was tremendously successful and thanks to the generosity of our neighbours, local businesses and several generous grants, we smashed the target.

New Fundraising Campaign

Preston City Council subsequently put the intended works out to tender and before the planning/funding committee for authorisation.  Unfortunately, Covid-19 factors have come into play and the costs of materials etc have risen dramatically over the last couple of years resulting in a shortfall in funds, compared to initial estimated costs.  Since funds are now short to do both projects, a decision was made to commence the footpath works as soon as possible to enable better access to the parks facilities and delay the phase 2 playground until more funds become available.  It is estimated that an additional £12k will be required to finish off the playground.

Our new fundraising campaign is now underway…. We’re titling it “The Twelve £K’s of Christmas”.  As ever, our Committee is busy behind the scenes trying to raise money and already, we’ve received two generous donation pledges of £1,000 and £2,000 respectively.  If you know of a local company or organisation that would be willing to donate to the Phase 2 Playground improvements, (no matter how large or small – every little bit helps), please do get in touch with us.

Exciting News

Installation of the footpath will commence 9th November.  Contractors will cordon off the area on the western side of the park (ie parallel with the railway).  During this time, the Cadley FC goalposts, which are usually stored against the railway fence will be located on the opposite eastern-side of the park, behind the houses on Conway Drive.  Work is expected to be complete before the end of the year <whoop whoop!>.

When do we meet?

The Friends of Conway Park Committee Group meet up every 6-8 weeks, usually on a week-day evening at 7.15pm.  We currently have 9 regular members who try their best to share the tasks required.  We are all volunteers.  Help and support is gratefully received, especially in the run-up to any fundraising events we organise.  New members to the committee are ALWAYS WELCOME to share the load.  If you have a vested interest in Conway Park (perhaps you walk your dog or have grandchildren who visit the play area) and have a bit of spare time, please come and join us and help us move the project forward. 

Our next meeting is our AGM on Tuesday 30th November at 7.30pm.  This will be held at the Fulwood Leisure Centre in their meeting room.  Please get in touch if you would like to join us or if you have any ideas/issues you would like us to discuss on your behalf.

Why do we need to fundraise?

Gone are the days where investment projects for our parks plugged into a central pot of money and the Council simply got on with it.  The way it works now is that we have to secure grant funding.  For example, we apply to an organisation offering grant ‘match-funding’ but in order to secure that grant, we need to prove it is a worthwhile cause.  Often this means that we have to put up the first part of money (perhaps 10% of the total cost) or show that another funder is willing to provide finance.  This is why we arrange fundraising activities and events…. We are trying to build up that initial pot of money.