The community has grown so much to nearly 350 so far. There have been street parties, children’s groups, sports sessions, and of course the Summer Garden Party, with average attendances of 3000 people! Up until 2015, all of this was achieved without a community venue! Now that we have a community facility in place (The Lodge) we can continue to develop this. The Lodge is a fantastic community asset alongside the Community Hall at Roussillon Park, giving local residents a good choice of venues. A preschool, Little Learners, is open daily in The Lodge and we run a homework club, internet café and a community café from this light and airy venue.
Back in 2012, after requests from local residents, we liaised with Linden Homes for many months to secure a temporary lease to develop a community garden at Graylingwell Park. The garden provided a place for adults and children to meet, chat, garden, learn, support wildlife and have fun. In its third year, the garden gained the top award from the RHS ‘It’s Your Neighbourhood’ category. See the Community Garden page to hear more. The garden closed in 2015, and we are hoping to secure a new site in the latter part of 2016.
CCDT has a close working relationship with the Graylingwell Park Residents’ Association. We attend GPRA meetings, help out where we can and hold joint events and the weekly community café offers local residents a chance to meet and work with both the CCDT and the GPRA.
Each year we hold several family events centred around key calendar dates such as Halloween and Christmas. These events not only give the children a chance to mix and enjoy themselves but also their parents a chance to meet. CCDT also hosts two big annual family events, the Graylingwell Park Summer Garden Party and the National Playday, both of which have gone from strength to strength.
We now employ a youth Co-ordinator and worker for three projects: Youth Ambassadors, Junior Ambassadors and a new youth club. With this project we aim to change perceptions of young people and plan social action projects, as well as ensuring the young people have a great time.
Getting our first real community resource was critical to the development of Graylingwell Park and the usage since opening reflects its true importance. Great credit goes to CCDT for seeing a difficult project through and bringing residents’ efforts into its completion, which has made it a facility in which everyone has a sense of ownership. True community at work.