To refresh your mind (and ours), Merewyn is a founding member and trustee of The Friends of CHaT Parks. It all started when Merewyn moved back from the Netherlands & she was on the lookout for any festivals or activities that might be happening locally. The short story is she’s found herself involved and later a trustee of the The Friends of CHaT Parks. You can check out our previous blog post to find out more information- https://www.sayerssolutions.co.uk/blogs/2020/friend-of-chat-parks/
In a catch up call this week, Merewyn found it quite ironic that it’s trustee week just as she was recommencing her trustee duties. Over the last 9 years, she hasn’t been as involved- but been there for the charity when they needed assistance or advice & has been involved in the current big project- costing over £1m of working on the park, which had the agreed project scope to include a children’s play area, amphitheatre and the lake.
The Friends of CHaT Parks was established to maintain the history of the Parks and to develop initiatives that would benefit them in the future. The three parks are Clarence, Holmfield and Thornes which are located in Wakefield. The charity, which is autonomous from the Council, has given itself the following goals and objectives; to preserve, develop, and enhance CHaT Parks as one of Wakefield’s treasures. They hope to do this by piquing interest in the public and therefore fostering a sense of patriotic responsibility in and towards the parks’ beauty, character, and history.
As the charity does not work with the council, the Group’s objective is to bring in funding for the parks that the Council and other agencies are unable to get. The Group will implement initiatives that increase the park’s appeal to Wakefield residents both individually and in collaboration with the Council and other organisations. One of the biggest initiatives is their current project of investing over £1m in a children’s play area, lake and amphitheatre- as previously mentioned.
How you can help
The organisation provides ways for people to support the Wakefield Parks and encourage volunteering duties.
Although, there are numerous ways you can contribute to the preservation of the parks. For example, using reusable coffee cups reduces waste significantly because wax linings on most paper cups make them not recyclable. Other ways include-
- Carrying reusable bags & water bottles.
- Avoid using disposable cutlery and single-serving containers.
- Recycle in the city centres before or after visiting parks.
- Support park composting activities & separate packaging before throwing it away
Above all, encourage your friends an family to use the parks! Take walks, bring your dogs, have picnics (in the summer) and have fun! Make sure to snap any photos and videos and share them on social media, tagging the Friends of CHaT Parks on Facebook or @friends_of_chat_parks on Instagram!
You can also become a ‘friend’ and apply for a membership- this way you’ll be involved in the development of the park and receive regular updates on initiatives or projects- https://chatparks.org.uk/become-a-friend/
Or you could also make a one-off (or regular) donation which will go towards new facilities or projects- https://chatparks.org.uk/make-a-donation/
Why your help matters
Giving back to the community can support a volunteer’s physical and mental well-being. Due to the sense of accomplishment that volunteering can bring, some people experience an increase in confidence as well as a feeling of wholesomeness. Similarly, taking on volunteer work can give you more opportunity for thrilling and unexpected experiences while also allowing you to focus on other interests. Who knows, maybe by becoming a friend of CHaT Parks, you’ll find yourself growing fond of gardening, or even volunteering in general!
Volunteering also allows you to stay up-to-date on any changes in the area. If you are based near or in Wakefield, you’re most likely already aware of the parks. By becoming a friend or just making a small donation, you’ll be creating a connection to the community in a slightly more personal way (which we hope will make you feel a sense of joy!).
Thornes Park, Clarence Park and Holmfield Park – Chat parks (n.d.) Thornes Park Clarence Park and Holmfield Park CHaT Parks. Available at: https://chatparks.org.uk/ (Accessed: November 8, 2022).