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Paths made safe at Onchan Park

The hot dry weather in the summer caused the clay soil to dry out and contract which caused cracks to open up in some of the paths at Onchan Park. Did you notice them? The Friends of Onchan committee raised this issue with Gedling Borough parks department at one of our regular meetings and we stated our concern about this health and safety issue.

path before

The area was cordoned off and remedial works took place. The paths are now safe and completely level.

path after

Thanks to Gedling Borough for fixing the paths. For more information about Gedling’s parks click here.

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Survey at St John’s Playgroup

Survey from St John’s playgroup Summer 2019

Friends of Onchan Committee visited the last day of the summer term at St John’s Playgroup on 18th July 2019 to survey the parents about their use of Onchan Park and how they would like it to be developed in the future. Surprisingly one person was unaware of the location of the park- she had never visited it and did not know that it was only a few hundred meters down the road from St Johns playgroup.

 

Do you use the park?

  • Yes – 14
  • No – 3

 

Reasons for not using the park

  • No children
  • Not well kept – too much rubbish on the park
  • Would use if it was tidy
  • Only just realised there is a park

 

What you’d like to see on the park

  • Children’s play equipment (8) – Slide; swings; roundabouts; zip line; floor trampoline; see saw;
  • Toilets (7)
  • Ground is uneven, level footpaths
  • Cycle track
  • Coffee shop (6)
  • Improved cleaning
  • Outdoor gym on bowling green
  • Basketball area
  • Family activities community events – craft days; fun days; talent shows
  • Summer clubs for kids
  • Exercise classes
  • Pavilion in use
  • Picnic benches (2)
  • Sensory equipment and trails
  • Football pitches

 

The Friends of Onchan park committee are saddened that once again the condition of the park is putting people off. We bring this up at our regular meetings with the parks department officers. We would also encourage people to use the Gedling Borough “Report It” portal to report any issues with rubbish, dog poo, vandalism etc at Onchan. The link to the portal is here.

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Information Stall– St John’s Summer Fair 2019

Community Consultation at St. John’s Church – Information Stall at Summer Fair on 22nd of June 2019

FoOP had an information stall at St. John’s Church. Initially, Terry and I were at the stall. Later on, Alison and Sheelagh came as well.

The aim was to show the community our work and plans for the future. We have spoken to members of the public about our work and wanted to have some feedback. It was a good way to promote our park. We publicized our AGM on this occasion.

It took a while until people came to us, because we didn’t sell any food and drinks. We “only” had to offer information about the park. Later, we approached the people a bit more purposeful and the result was that kids and a few adults came to us with some feedback. They were writing it on post-it notes. One lady didn’t know that the park existed.

What would you like to see on the park?

  • cricket green for playing cricket
  • birds houses / tables
  • nature plants
  • “Nice” plants
  • white lines sprayed on the grass (to play football)
  • picnic tables
  • “A see-saw please”
  • “Place to lock our bikes”
  • “Fantastic idea MUGA TT” (table-tennis)

 

Comments:
“Very good idea” (the suggestions)
“What a wonderful park”

Complaints:
Two people complained that the park is dirty and covered with broken glass

P Alimonti, 9th of September 2019

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2019 AGM- Update from the Chair

Since the 2018 AGM, we have worked so hard and we are making progress, unfortunately, little progress is visible to the community, because we’ve focused on the Sport England bid and moving forward with MUGA, disabled access and Table Tennis Tables project. We’ve upped our game with the council and diverted our time from fundraising events to active applications for funding. We’ve also pushed for work on the Green (improvements to the surface) and consolidated our 5 year plan – MUGA, Green, Playground, Pavilion.

We started compiling the specification for MUGA, TT Tables and DDA footpath with Jane Richardson at Gedling Borough Council in August 2018. The specification allowed us to request soft quotes and feed into the bid for Sport England. This year we upped our meetings with council and developed a portfolio of evidence. Evidence includes: 5 year plan, donations summary, community consultations, letters of support from schools, clubs, councillors, police, Mr Coaker MP, medical practices, etc.  Work is still on-going.

We’ve gathered support for Groups Involvement:

  • Wildcats Basketball Club – provision of outreach sessions
  • Sycamore Table Tennis Club – provision of outreach sessions
  • Cricket Nott’s cricket board (Street Cricket)– provision of cricket equipment and training for a community volunteer
  • U3A – Still working on

Match funding:

  • September applied to Aviva Community Fund to resurface the green – unsuccessful
  • LIS funding to resurface the Green – considered part of Gedling maintenance so we did not apply.
  • Applications have been submitted to Building societies Nottingham & Skipton – Spring 2019
  • Co-op application for Table Tennis bats and balls – Summer 2019
  • Jigsaw Foundation/Gedling Homes – we will resubmit the bid in the Spring 2020

 

Contact with Gedling Borough Council

  • 4 – 6 weekly meetings with Jane Richardson and Fiona Hextall to progress the project
  • CIL funding little prospect, feedback from Lewis Widdowson
  • Resurfacing bowling green Melvyn Cryer – 2 quotes -£3k seeding £10k turfing
  • Freedom of information requests GBC getting somewhere – latest is
    “The Council is usually minded to match fund successful funding bids”
  • Having to contact Highways to ask for clearing paths, continually having to contact GBC over maintenance – grass cutting – litter.

Community Involvement

  • Meetings open to all and published on website.
  • Publicity from BBC Inside Out program – September 2018
  • Spooktacular event – October 2018
  • Local door-to-door survey for Sport England bid (residents’ consent for MUGA)- March 2019
  • Stall at St John’s Church Summer Fair -Community consultation – June 2019
  • St John’s Playgroup ‘Last Day” – consult parents at playgroup – July 2019.
  • No summer community event at the park
  • Tried to establish contact with community groups to support development of the pavilion, put on hold as minimal interest at this stage – We visited Eco-house/ Passive – St Ann’s Allotments.

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Funds update

Friends of Onchan Park are very grateful to our local councillors for generously donating from their discretionary funds. Paul Wilkinson, Jim Creamer, Nicki Brooks and Errol Henry have supported Onchan Park activities since the very beginning of the campaign to save the park. Their support has continued up to the present day task of developing the facilities.
Local Gedling Borough councillors Paul and Nicki judged the pavilion art competition in 2017. Here is a link to the original winning artwork.
Nottinghamshire County councillors Jim and Errol presented a cheque at our Summer Fun Day in 2018. Jim+Errol+ Alison Summer fun cheque

We have also received funds from local businesses:

  • AW Lymn Foundation,
  • The Inn at the Bank in Netherfield
  • Lindley’s Auto Centre on Oakdale road.

Nottingham City Transport also contributed to the Pavilion Art project when they bought paint for Dak and Dash to complete the artworks. We were so grateful when NCT agreed to support the pavilion project – read about it here.
The Aviva Community Fund donated £500 when the Table Tennis project was a finalist in the awards in 2018. Read about this exciting news here.
We have also received donations from kind members of the public. Anyone can donate via the ‘Friends of’ page using paypal or send a cheque to the Treasurer – details on the Foop page.
Currently, Friends of Onchan Park are working with the council to prepare funding applications to Sport England and other bodies to fund the MUGA, Table Tennis and Disabled Access Path project. Our research using the survey and petition identified a community needs for a multi-use games area, table tennis for use by all ages and abilities.

Watch this space, we are hoping to be able to announce some more good news soon.

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Pavilion Project Update

The pavilion project is still in the very early stages of planning. Find out what the Friends of Onchan Park committee have been doing to get this project started.

Interest from local groups

Friends of Onchan Park have been contacting local groups  who may wish to use the building in the future to put on events or run clubs or groups. Fitness instructors, childminders, a church youth worker have all expressed an interest. In particular local nutritionist, Louise Carney-Stillie, is planning to host a women’s wellbeing group to discuss health and nutrition. Have a look at her website here: www.nutritionwithlouise.co.uk/

Pavilion Floor Plans

Terry and Alison measured the existing rooms inside the pavilion and Terry drew up this detailed plan. You can see from the plan that the main hall is 6.6m x 5.5m. However, there is potential to increase this by removing some internal walls and extending out to the porch.

2019 01 pavilion plan

What would you suggest to improve the layout and functionality of the Onchan Park Pavilion?

St Ann’s Visitor Centre Site Visit

We were invited to tour St Ann’s Allotments Visitor Centre by the Site Tenancies and Gardener Engagement Officer, Nicola Hinton. Alison, Pia and Maria  inspected all the eco-friendly features of the building such as – green roof, rain-water harvesting and under-floor heating. They were shown the security shutters, internal layout and handy lockable storage cupboards. There were loads of other useful features to think about when we come to re-design Onchan Park pavilion.

 

 

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Update- MUGA , Table Tennis and Access gate and path

You might be thinking that Onchan Park looks unchanged compared to this time last year. Here is a quick update about what has been going on behind the scenes.

Update: what have we done already?

We set up a survey to ask people what they wanted to see on the park in 2016. The results of this and our petition showed that local people were passionate about saving the park and pavilion and that they wanted to see a community hub and refurbished facilities. You can still read all the reasons the people wanted to save the park at the Change.org website.  At the Summer Fun Day in 2017 we asked people to vote on which facility they would like to see developed first, the overwhelming winner was the Multi-Use-Games-Area or MUGA. Have a look at our plans from back in August 2017.

During 2017 and 2018 the Friends of Onchan Park have acted on this information and have held several meetings with parks development officers at Gedling Borough Council to put together a specification document. We have also met with several different contractors on site to assist them in putting together a quotation for the work that needs to be done.

As a result of all this work we have information from the community showing the need to redevelop the MUGA, install table tennis tables and provide a new pedestrian gate and access path. We have a specification and plan drawings that allowed us to get four quotes from contractors.

What are the next steps?

The next steps will be to secure funding for this project and consultation with local residents is a big part of this process. We discussed this at our last public meeting in May 2018, the minutes are here if you want to read them. If you live within sight of Onchan Park, we will be visiting you soon to talk about our plans with you. Once we know that everyone is happy with the plans then we can start applying for funding from WREN, Sport England or one of the National Lottery Charities. Once funding has been secured, we can work with the Council to award the contract to the successful bidder.

We are aiming to be awarded funds to be able to transform the MUGA, install table tennis tables and a new pedestrian gate and access path for pushchairs and wheelchairs. We also want to keep the park’s neighbours happy and we can change our plans to ensure that this happens. Above all we want to create a park that we can be proud of that is used by lots of different people to enjoy being in nature and getting active.

We hope that this little update will help you to understand everything that is going on with the park. Everyone is welcome to come along to the public meetings or to offer help with events or activities at the committee meetings.

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Aviva Funds

Vote for our project in the Aviva Community Fund!

Voting opened on 23rd October and the deadline is 20th November 2018. We need as many votes as we can to show support for our bid to raise money to re-surface the greenspace at Onchan Park. Go online to register at community-fund.aviva.co.uk. Everyone gets 10 votes for their favourite projects. To find ours search for Onchan Park in the Health and Wellbeing category. Projects within this category should aim to make people feel better on a number of levels, improving physical, mental and emotional health and boosting social interaction. The top three projects with the most votes will go to the final judging stages and we will find out early next year if we will receive any funding.

Please support us once again by giving us your votes to support the development of Onchan Park for the whole community.

Have a look at our project page here. In recent years the old bowling green has been used as a green space for community events and as a play area for local children and teenagers. The surface of the bowling green has degraded and is full of holes and is surrounded by gullies. The Friends of Onchan Park group are looking to regenerate this area with hard-wearing grass which is fit for purpose, to fill in the gullies and re-establish the green space to include suitable, inclusive access so the area can be used by all groups.

Onchan Greenspace

Update 14/12/18: Unfortunately, in spite of all the support and votes that we received, we didn’t make it to the final of the Aviva Community Fund this year.

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Pavilion Development Opportunity

Opportunity to develop Onchan Park Pavilion and Greenspace for your community group

As you know Onchan Park Pavilion is located in the centre of Onchan Park (otherwise know as Oakdale Road Recreation Ground) is currently in a state of disrepair and unable to be used.  Friends of Onchan Park would like to see the regeneration of the pavilion along with the transformation of the rest of the park.

Ideally we’d like the building to serve as a community hub for local groups.  We would like to create a building that would meet the needs of the groups who would like to use the space.  At the same time we would like to create a space that will be very cost efficient to run, perhaps incorporating solar and wind power. Given the extent of likely building works we will need to submit bids for charity funding.  To support our bid we will be required to show the need for the works and how the project will benefit the community.  We think the best way to do this is by involving local groups in the planning stages to create the ultimate community hub.

plan of the park snip

The space…

The pavilion building has a large central room, with double doors opening onto the porch facing the green space. These doors are currently boarded up and the outside is decorated with artwork to deter vandalism- read all about the pavilion transformation project here. There is ramped access to the side door which is the main access point for the building at the moment. The total internal dimensions are 17.8 metres by 7.1 metres, a total of 126 square metres.

winners ACS and Paul

Inside there is a kitchen, toilets and several smaller rooms which were once used as changing rooms or storage rooms for the bowls players. These smaller rooms could be knocked together to form one large room. Have a look at some of the awards boards that are still on the walls on our Memories page.

Outside there are two small tarmac car parks within the park. The green space is an old bowling green measuring 40m x 40m. There are mature trees, hedges and flower borders on the park as well as the children’s playground and two sports courts. Details about the trees and hedges are described here: trees-and-hedges-survey.

We need you!

Friends of Onchan Park conducted a survey which showed the need for a community hub in the area sometimes known as ‘Carlton Village’ or the Carlton district ward. Our community wants: keep fit, yoga, youth clubs, book club, education groups, parent and baby groups, art class, zumba, bootcamp and holiday clubs. What could you offer?

We need community groups to come forward to be stakeholders in the pavilion development project so that the building can be renovated to suit your needs. We would like to hold a meeting with interested groups to try to establish a starting point. 

Please respond in the comments or email parkonchan@gmail.com if you would like to be involved. If possible, please give details such as: Name of group, Activities offered (with possible days and times), Facilities required, Space required. We would love to hear from you.

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Accessible path to tennis court planned

Turn up and play tennis for free at Onchan Park: fully accessible path planned.

There is a full-size, free tennis court at Onchan Park. There is no need to book, it is open all day and the net will stay up all year round. Gedling Borough Council replaced the net and posts in February 2017 after our survey showed a need for this facility. The net has been in place for two summers now and is well used.
If you wish, you can donate to Friends of Onchan Park via PayPal, sending a message that the donation is for the tennis facility. In no way do we expect donations to use the tennis court, however people have asked for a way to donate. Here is the link to donate: Donate to Friends of Onchan Park.
A fully accessible path from a new pedestrian gate near the vehicle access gate will be installed with the MUGA project. More details on this exciting development soon. At the moment the court is not accessible with a wheelchair and pushchair access is difficult as there are steps to navigate.
Have a quick look at the news from Feb 2017 which has details about buses and parking for Onchan Park: How to get to Onchan Park.
Have you played tennis during the long hot summer of 2018? Let us know in the comments.

tennis-net-400x300