Friends' Progress

The Friends of Gateacre have continued to meet regularly during the winter months and - apart from 'Gateacre in Bloom 2006' - have two major projects in hand. The first is the improvement of the old Cricket Field in Belle Vale Road. Here, the Council will be starting work in May/June laying out a wheelchair-accessible (and buggy-friendly) pathway and providing new bins, while later in the year wildflower seeds will be planted round the perimeter. This work - which follows a survey of local residents and businesses carried out by the Friends last year - will be funded using money given to the Council by Bellway Homes, under the terms of the planning permission for their flats in Belle Vale Road.

The second project is the refurbishment of the Unitarian Chapel Hall in Sandfield Road. The Friends have been talking to the Prince's Trust Volunteers, who aim to provide young people with training opportunities while at the same time benefiting local communities. They were delighted when the volunteers chose the Chapel Hall from all the various projects offered to them - and for two weeks in February the young people worked magnificently, painting the main hall and an ante-room, clearing the grounds and planting a new garden. In the longer term the Friends - and the Chapel Committee, who own the building - would like to see further improvements, with a view to the Hall becoming a well-used centre of community life. If you would like to help with this project, particularly if you have any relevant skills or experience, please contact Lynn Cheng.

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