All posts by Crabbers

Cafe Painting Competition

Painting competition: The original plan was for competitors to bring their artwork to be judged on the night of 15th April, but we’ve had a request to be able to drop them off.

Are there any local outlets that would be prepared to act as a drop off point please? We’d collect them on a regular basis.
This could only apply to drawings and paintings that could be left in an envelope and we couldn’t return any unless they came with an appropriately self addressed envelope with the appropriate stamps on.

Any artwork left is at their own risk of course, and should contain name, address, contact phone number or email; age of artist.
We look forward to seeing the entries!

Share Button

New Cafe and Toilets get Go Ahead

Share Button

Chairmans Address to the Planning Committee

I requested to speak at the Planning Meeting today and was allowed 5 minutes. (It should be on YouTube in a few days but the last meeting – the record button wasn’t pressed so that wasn’t available). Anyway, for what it’s worth, this is my 5 minute allocated speech – 4.minutes 55 seconds at my last ‘test read’.

It is 4 pages long so might provide some good bed time reading to send you to sleep:
“I am representing Friends of Sandall Park, a voluntary charity community group formed in 2004, who are proud, passionate and unpaid.
Our group comprises teachers, retail staff, nursery owner, retired police officers, a retired Home Office Crime Reduction specialist, project managers, elected members and school children. In 2010 we were awarded the Queens Award for voluntary service, the result of transforming the park from a crime ridden den of anti-social behaviour into a well-loved family park which is packed every weekend and school holiday.
Please do not confuse volunteers with Amateurs, we continually put words and vision into action – our dedication to Sandall Park has proved we are not playing at this!
Since our formation we have drawn investment of over £700,000.00 into the park.
We created a Junior Ranger Scheme to ensure young children become actively involved in looking after THEIR park, they are the volunteers of the future.
Our first major project, working with DMBC, was to reclaim the old golf course and use our professional experience as Police Officers to rid the park of crime. Importantly, an additional 20 acres of greenspace that had been abandoned, was re-introduced back to park life.
The toilet in the park had its own website for illegal sexual activity!!! Again, using our professional background, we eradicated that crime, even with the council objecting to crime reduction measures.
The proposed café/restaurant that is open into the evenings will help to prevent anti-social behaviour returning to the park during the evenings and complements our crime reduction strategy.

As a result of our successes, we have provided crime reduction presentations and training courses to community groups, councils and greenspace representatives from across the whole of the UK including some London Parks and Keep Britain Tidy Group. We founded the Doncaster GreenSpace Network to bring all the community groups together, and we attend National Conferences.
Our next major project – if the new café is built – is to turn the redundant men’s toilet block into a Changing Place. This is a purpose built facility where children and adults with disabilities can use the toilet and be changed, in a dignified manner. Currently they have to be laid on the dirty toilet floor, or go to Lakeside. And we have hundreds of visitors with disabilities every week.
If this café doesn’t go ahead, the Changing Place cannot go ahead. We have had this plan on the table for three years and we have no doubt that we can raise the external funds for this.
The proposed Café/Restaurant is due to be built on the current tarmac car park of the current café, the tiny amount of greenspace it will take up (0.05%), becomes almost totally irrelevant, particularly when you consider the overall 69 acres of Sandall Park itself.

In 2008, we returned over 3 acres of derelict land adjacent to the nursery back to greenspace. This area is now a plantation of 1500 trees.
FoSP were asked by the council last year if we could utilise the derelict Nursery area of 2.6 acres, and we produced a detailed plan to return this to public green space as an inclusive dog agility Park. 15 months later, it is still derelict.
Parking Problem? There is not a parking problem. There are already 141 extra parking spaces in the laybys and Ash car park Barnby Dun Road that have not been accounted for.

FoSP always maintain that we positively manage the reputation of DMBC. A quarter of the working population of Doncaster drive past Sandall park twice a day. They look across and see magnificent new play areas and fitness equipment and an extremely popular family park with events taking place, not the wreck of a park it was 15 years ago. And it is not just a local park, visitors come from every Ward in Doncaster. We would like them to see a Gateway restaurant/café, that will be the envy of every single park in the country.

The council don’t have a plan, or a vision for what the park will look like for the next generations. FoSP do. It does include as a minimum – refreshment facilities and toilets for families – the park users of Doncaster and beyond deserve nothing less.

When this current café building is condemned: because it IS falling down – who will pay for a new building? DMBC said they do not have the funds to replace the café for the tenant.
This is why we have battled for the last six years, painstakingly, working closely with DMBC, the tenant, various professionals and putting together an agreement with DMBC that allows a win win for all. Additionally we asked over 500 individuals their thoughts on the scheme, all without a single negative comment.

If this multi million scheme does not go ahead ahead, in the coming years when Sandall Park is a wreck again I can sleep easy and honestly say that FoSP did everything within their power to preserve the park’s future.
Make no mistake the, next, significant, stage, for the positive growth and management of the future of Sandall Park, is at stake here and will be decided this afternoon, by the people in this room.

I hope you make a decision that will take the park forward for future generations to enjoy so that it doesn’t become abandoned as it was in the early 90’s when all the other facilities were removed – and nobody knows who made THAT fateful decision. Today we can make the right decision and move Sandall Park forward
Thank you

Share Button

Letter From IFOSP

This was sent from America but didn’t make it to the Free Press this week. Noelle (New Jersey) explains herself.

“I’m writing on behalf of our group, International Friends of Sandall Park. (IFoSP)

Our back story, we are a group friends who met on Twitter because of our love and respect for Louis Tomlinson. Louis is proud of his roots and always talks about his wonderful memories of growing up in Doncaster.

We first came across the FoSP account when we were researching the history of Doncaster. We read about the story of their handicapped accessible playground. The volunteers helped to raise almost 15k to cover the costs. We’ve followed their account ever since. Over the past year We’ve watched so many projects, programs and community events being held at the park. We were amazed by the strong support of all the Volunteers.

In March of 2019 our IFoSP group was formed. We are five women; Noelle, Kimberly, Amanda (All American), Tabitha – Australia, Ester – Netherlands. We wanted to plant a tree in Louis’ hometown to help us channel our grief into something positive. We were so honored and moved when Sandra surprised us by purchasing a cherry blossom tree on her own, for us. The volunteers took great care in planting it in The Quiet Garden of the park. Our group decided that we wanted to continue with supporting the efforts of the park and its volunteers. We have purchased five additional cherry blossom trees that are now planted, by the volunteers, surrounding the original tree. We decided it would be a lovely way to honor our loved ones that have passed. We all plan to visit Doncaster, not only to spend tourism dollars but to visit Sandall Park and our trees. One of our members has already been welcomed with open arms when she made the journey a couple months ago, another will be visiting in May of this year.

The Quiet Garden is a place to promote and support mental health awareness. The volunteers have transformed the space into a beautiful place for reflection. Volunteers built an archway leading into the garden and planted wisteria around it. Benches were also built by the volunteers.

We were saddened to hear that Sandra and Don had resigned from their positions at FoSP. We stand behind them in their decision due to the unfortunate, continued delays in the final ‘go ahead’ approval from council for the new cafe.

We sit with a heavy heart wondering what the future will hold for the park that has been so beautifully cared for and improved out of the love and dedication of its volunteers. If the FoSP group is dissolved, where does that leave one of Doncaster’s largest all inclusive parks? Who will put all the love and care into maintaining and preserving the fifteen years the volunteers put into the park? We hope there is a positive outcome for the future of FoSP and the community”.

Footnote: Noelle designed our “Love Grows Here” logo for the Quiet Garden.

Share Button

Junior Rangers to Carry On………

Neil Marshall and the Safer Communities Team very kindly offered to take over the supervision of the FoSP Junior Rangers which is brilliant! It means no matter what happens with FoSP, the Rangers Scheme will continue and to be honest, be better run than what we could manage with limited staff. Thank you Neil and Jo for taking this on.

Junior Rangers are excellent volunteers and a great addition to the park .

Image may contain: one or more people, people standing, child and outdoor
Image may contain: 5 people, people smiling, people standing, child, tree, outdoor and nature
Image may contain: 3 people, people smiling, people standing
Image may contain: one or more people, child, outdoor and nature
Share Button

Message From The Chairman

Hi all, Just to keep everyone informed as to what is happening with FoSP – I have resigned as Chairman and resigned from the group, as has my ‘bag carrier’ as he calls himself (otherwise known as FoSP Comms Manager and Crime Reduction Advisor), Don.

It was an emotional AGM with much discussion as to how the group should progress. It was decided to ‘hibernate’ the group until the February meeting and make a decision then as to whether the group should continue or fold.

We have had 15 fabulous years working with a great team of volunteers, and great teams of DMBC staff at a local level.
At this stage, it is unlikely that the (free) Easter Eggstravangza – a major event that attracts thousands and is firmly on the Easter calendar, will go ahead.

We will be making a decision in February as to whether the group (and charity) continues or folds. We thank you all for the support you have given us over the last 15 years. We couldn’t have achieved what we have without you.

Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling, shoes and outdoor
Share Button