Chair’s Annual Report

See below the Annual Report from the Chair of Friends of Lightwoods Park. Details of this year's AGM to follow.

Hi Everyone

We hope your enjoying the summer. As your all probably aware the Heritage Lottery Fund bid was successful, Fantastic, Fantastic !!! well done to Cherie and the team for all their hard work and input for making that happen. Although visitors to the park for the next 12 months or so won't see much physically happening this doesn't mean things are not going on behind the scenes. Now we have news to tell you we will be sending out a quarterly news letter to keep you updated with the work schedule etc.

We are now looking forward to our 3rd AGM as a friends group.(Date & time below) We have come such a long way in such a short time. We have gone from a community with a park in name only to a park with a friends group who have helped set up two other friends groups within Smethwick also being asked to advise on events within those parks.

We can feel justifiably proud for what we have achieved not only in Lightwoods or the community of Bearwood but for our wider community of Smethwick which only last week was recognised in the regional press for having the best parks in Sandwell.

One of the reasons highlighted for Lightwoods being awarded the HLF is the commitment from the Friends Group in particular the events, the support of the community and the volunteers which was all noted by HLF officers. We have registered thousands of volunteer hours in the past two years which Cherie had to increase during the bid at least 3 times because we had exceeded expectations (this had a very positive impact on the bid) so from all the committee I would like to say a special thank you to all the 350 plus volunteers that have worn a team Bearwood bib over this period helping with events, litter picking, patrolling the park and every third Sat of the month attending the volunteer gardening morning in The Shakespeare Garden. We are pleased HLF noted this as we , the committee, took a conscious decision early on to make our principle role to increase and maintain Lightwoods profile whilst the HLF bid went through, and we believe we have achieved that.

Our park has gone from a virtual no go area for many of us under Birmingham City council to an area where most days it is used by the local community and beyond, with Lightwoods being a destination for many people from a wide area.

I feel very proud and privileged to be a part of this transformation especially after reading the history of Lightwoods, how it was purchased by local people, then given as a gift to the city of Birmingham to be used for the people. When the park was handed over by Alexander Macome Chance in November 1902, it was stated The only suggestion we venture to offer is that the park be known by its old familiar name of “The Lightwoods” with this in mind the committee made a request of the same to the consultants and I am pleased to announce that this is now being considered.

Richard Marshall

Chair of The Lightwoods.

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One Response to Chair’s Annual Report

  1. Keith Bracey says:

    Well done Richard, Cherie and all of the Bearwood Councillors and Volunteers…….you deserve this…..Bearwood is now going places……

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