Please buy an electronic raffle ticket by pledging £10 and have a chance at winning one of our great prizes and get a good feeling in getting this community building over the line and open in the next few weeks. The raffle is run by the Friends of Victoria Park, Stretford; Or you can buy a prepaid coffee reward card for 5 coffees; or one of our other rewards.
We have applied for some additional funding to be added to this crowdfunder and if accepted onto the funders programme they will match fund up to 50% of the target funding - as long as we have enough supporters and reach our target - so watch this space and cross your fingers.
Having to build throughout the Covid-19 Pandemic has added extra challenges to this project - increasing our costs due to product scarcity and increased timescales and has meant that we have spent all our contingency budget and we are short approx £20k to finish the building (including fixtures and fittings) to enable us to open our doors and welcome you all in. This may sound like a lot of money but when it is compared to the actual build cost of approx. £390,000.00 we have not done too badly at budgeting!
We were due to be up and running in July 2020 opening with our Picnic In The Park event - this of course didn't happen due to Coronavirus as the building couldn't start on time. We will however be opening from the hatch on or around the 30th January 2021 with a limited offering until we can open our doors completely [when we return to Tier 2]. WE CANNOT WAIT!
This new community building will become the hub of Victoria Park in Stretford. The building is a means to an end as it allows our community to access the park more and stay longer. It affords the park with top class facilities such as our changing places toilet, disabled toilet and regular toilets, underfloor heating, air source heat pump, solar panels and rainwater collection system to power the toilets. The building allows the Friends of Victoria Park a space to plan the activities and events in the park and a community room to hold them in.
We are working on bringing you a packed programme of activities to improve our health and wellbeing - Stretford Stress Busting is the name that FOVPS have given it. This programme of activities has been designed to reduce stress, anxiety and depression for the people of Stretford and the surrounding areas by tying in with the NHS 10 Stress Busters as outlined on their website. [https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/reduce-stress/]
Within the programme our 5 key priorities/themes were used to give our project theme and names:
Our priority to create a safe, healthy outdoor space runs throughout our whole programme and is tackled by working to ‘crowd out crime’. This means making the park a busy and vibrant place to be and not somewhere that you can hide and carry out illicit behaviour without being seen. Our projects and volunteers will also carry out improvement works to the park making it an even more fun and healthy space to be.
We will engage with specialist support groups to ensure that wrap-around care is available within the park or in our surrounding community and we will signpost accordingly.
In delivering the above programme and social enterprise, the charity recognises that there will be a phased continuation/introduction of activities, with regard to its capacity and ability to create the relevant service infrastructure needed for each.
However, integral to all the activities and services is the need for a physical site from which to operate, store resources and equipment, host events, and such like. The 2 buildings within the park when the charity come into operation were initially used, but their limited size, layout, and state of repair meant that many of the opportunities to develop new activities in response to both identified needs, and expressed interests of people in the community, were not able to be realised.
Through a programme of consultations, the charity has been able to secure the resources needed to develop a new community building which is a better fit for purpose in being able to offer space for:
- Volunteering space to organise and manage park activities and events - Social wellbeing programme that could offer sheltered space for activities throughout the year - Clubhouse for local sports and fitness clubs - Education and training space (including an explicit training offer linked to the Tea Room – such as customer service, barista skills) - A cafe and public toilets, to enable and encourage people to ‘linger longer’ in the park and create more socialising opportunities (particularly for people who might not otherwise feel able to, or who would be otherwise excluded from accessing such facilities for reasons of income or confidence) - room and facilities able to be hired to other groups, as a means to contributing to the ongoing maintenance of this new building
This building has also excellent green credentials – it has solar panels and a battery, an air source heat pump, underfloor heating and rainwater collection for powering the toilets.
It also has a Changing Places toilet and a regular disabled access toilet which means that we are totally accessible to all. We are the first public park in Trafford to have this facility and they are few and far between in UK parks at all. [https://www.uktoiletmap.org/find ]
The Tea Room is the name for our café and food related social enterprise within the community building. The Tea Room will operate on a commercial basis with a menu developed for our community that is both seasonal and responsive to customer requirements. The Tea Room will be open from 0800-2200 each day serving a breakfast, lunch and tea menu and snacks and drinks. We will be able to operate a take-away & delivery service utilising Shocal a local delivery service app. We will have a menu suitable for those hiring the community room to choose for a buffet or snack or a party menu which we will extend to local businesses, schools and Stretford Public Hall. We will be able to utilise the cafe and staff for events. The Tea Room will be able to give opportunities for training and upskilling, volunteer opportunities and also paid employment for local people, including weekend roles for young people. As we are running the tearoom ourselves all money spent in the Tearoom stays in the park to allow us to run more events, activities and make improvements to the park.
It's all very exciting but we really need this last bit of funding to make the business plan work.
THANK YOU all for getting us to where we are now - we will push on and get the building finished and open with your help.