Friends of Eastville Park: A celebration of volunteers

May 07 2022
Friends of Eastville Park: A celebration of volunteers

News from the Friends of Eastville Park, with chair Sarah West

THE last two years have been hard for everyone.

Stress from global events and the rising cost of living has left many of us with poor physical and mental health.

Giving even a small amount of time to our park community lifts the spirits and provides a sense of achievement that we may not find at school, work, or in retirement. Making a difference here gives a feeling of empowerment when global events leave us feeling helpless. 

Parks and volunteering go hand-in-hand, especially now councils have just a quarter of the previous budget to maintain public green spaces. The squeeze has left many Bristolians nervous of privatisation, charges and loss of green space.

The Friends of Eastville Park work in a complementary way with Bristol City Council and the community to create a thriving park, with something for everyone. Volunteer groups can access funding streams for new facilities that council officers can’t, give their time to plant trees, maintain benches, litter pick, run community events, bake cakes and contribute to wildlife initiatives.

Connections are forged that help prevent social isolation and give young people the chance to learn new skills, gain experience, and build character, such as with Eastville’s Duke of Edinburgh award volunteers. 

The charity Your Park recently celebrated park groups and volunteers across Bristol and Bath with awards, recognising their invaluable contribution to a multitude of projects. The online event was fabulous and heart-warming, showcasing the unsung projects that make Bristol better and the lovely people who commit time and energy to parks and green spaces.

Our volunteer Andy Gee won an award for long service and outstanding commitment, for his activities on the Friends of Eastville Park committee.

Andy’s dedication, giving his time, charm and expertise in building maintenance, his resourcefulness and passion for Eastville Park, have enabled so much.

The renovation project at the Nissen Hut pulled together both paid contractors and volunteers, all coordinated by Andy day after day through the winter. The man cannot sit still and pours his seemingly boundless energy into Eastville park like a force of nature. He is without a doubt a super volunteer!

We have volunteers of all ages taking part in all manner of projects from Parkwork to Pop-up café. You may have visited the first 2022 volunteer led Pop-up café in March and seen the new and improved Nissen hut, but if you missed it, the next one is on Saturday May 7. 

It’s more than a coffee shop in the park, it’s a place to escape the grind and feel human again among the ephemeral spring blossoms.  

To volunteer with the Friends of Eastville Park, email friendsofeastvillepark@gmail.com or catch up with any of the committee team at the Pop-Up café.