Friends of Felling Park and Town Centre
In Early Autumn 2016 Des Costello and John Gibson from the Felling Irish Association approached Gateshead Council to see what could be done about the steady decline of Felling Park and the town centre as a whole. From those early discussions it was decided that for things to progress a new group should be established. This new group, The Friends of Felling Park and Town Centre is separate from the Felling Irish Association but due to the close working relationship between the two groups and due to the fact that the “Friends” group doesn’t yet have their own website, updates on the Felling Park project will appear on the Felling Irish Association website for the time being.
The first meeting of the Friends of Felling Park and Town Centre took place on Wednesday 16th November 2016 in the Concert Room of Holly Hill Sports and Social Club. A Committee has been formed, constitution prepared and bank account opened so the group are nearly in a position to start applying for grants to help fund this 4-5 year project. The meeting was well attended and those present were invited to come up with a logo for the group A small group of volunteers paid a visit earlier in the day to Ferndene Park, Ryton and Oliver Henderson Park, Leam Lane to see what other similar “friends groups” had achieved. A Facebook page “Friends of Felling Park and Town Centre” has been set up to keep people informed of latest developments and to spread the word about the project. The Felling Square Christmas Tree, (funded through Felling Irish Association, Holly Hill Sports and Social Club and Gateshead Council), has been installed and the official Christmas Light Switch-On will take place on Friday 2nd December at 14.30
Next meeting of the Friends of Felling Park and Town Centre will take place in Concert Room, Holly Hill Club at 19.15 on Wednesday 14th December. All Welcome! Dates of future meetings can be found on our calendar.
Update – several volunteer sessions have taken place over past few months. Tidy ups have been carried out by local volunteers and two sessions of tidy ups have taken place by volunteers from Virgin Media. In excess of 2,000 bulbs (daffodils and tulips) have been planted throughout the park. Lots of interest has been shown via the Facebook page and we have another volunteer session planned for Saturday 21st January from 10.30 am, where we hope to plant some more bulbs at the bottom end of the park, opposite the dentists and continue general tidying. Funding has been secured to enable the group to plant a small orchard within the park and further funding and donations of plants and equipment is currently being sort.
Beloe you can see some “Before an After” pictures showing the differences our volunteers are making in Felling Park
An article on The Friends of Felling Park was published in the latest Council News magazine.
The bulbs that were planted are now in bloom
A couple of grants have been received to allow us to start planting
Work has started to rejuvenate the park benches
Bowling Green ready for bowling season and pavilion has been cleared and cleaned.
Water has been restored so toilet facilities now available in the pavilion and also kitchen can now be used which means our volunteers can have well deserved coffee breaks
Volunteers regularly meet in the Park every Saturday morning from about 10am.Sessions also arranged during the week when volunteers are available and weather permitting. A Finance and Strategy group regularly meets with representatives from the council and the “Friends” Group has their monthly meeting at 7.15pm in the Concert Room of the Holly Hill Sports and Social Club, on the third Wednesday of every month , where people can share their views and ideas and be updated on how the project is doing.