We are 'Friends' of Kennet Way Park
We are really passionate about making a positive change for all the residents of Oakley. What started as a ‘we wish we could…’ is now a fullscale community project and we are all so proud of how far we have come in such a short space of time.
If you would like to know more, below is a timeline of events that have led us up to now.
WHERE IS THE PARK?
Kennet Way Park is the largest park here in Oakley and is situated just off of Kennet Way. As you can see from the map, the space is rather large, but really quite sparse with only 6 pieces of play equipment to use and 2 benches to sit on.
Our goal is to transform this space and really utilize it well. The money we raise will go towards new play equipment but we are also investing in the surrounding green area, landscaping, additional seating and lots of other ideas. There will be something for everyone to enjoy and feel apart of.
To get an idea of what is achievable, take a look at our ideas page for some visual illustrations.
Don’t forget, we need you to make this project a success.
GET DONATING NOW.
2 mums (Kirsty + Lisa) attended the Annual Parish Meeting to see if they could find out any information about plans for the local play parks. They spoke to the Parish and some Local Councillors about how they could get involved. Coming away from the meeting they had fire in their bellies and a belief that something could change. So they went big!!! They set up a Facebook group and invited others to air their views. Over 200 members joined overnight and feedback was extremely positive. The general consensus was YES: the park is in dire need of an update and YES let’s raise funds together as a community!
Research, research, research. We asked questions, polled parents, grandparents, kids, did some number crunching and completed a lot of fact-finding to really find out what the people using these facilities would want from a new area. We then met with the Parish Council and pitched the idea: a re-vamp of Kennet Way Park. We presented our findings from the focus groups and all the information was really well received. They told us that the next step was approval from Basingstoke & Dean Borough Council. We then formed a sub-committee group and welcomed new members to the team. It was time to step it up a gear.
Off the back of the polls we created in the Facebook group, we compiled an initial brief along with a wish list of play equipment that would be AMAZING to have in the new space. Then we sent it to Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council, who sent it to a number of play companies for them to respond with initial ideas of what the space could look like and get an idea of costings.
Kirsty + Lisa met the council to pitch the idea to them. The meeting was extremely helpful and a first of its kind. Never have the borough council had a group approach them about self-funding a park renovation themselves (yeahy go us!) We fed back to everyone that this idea was no longer ‘pie in the sky’ it was becoming real. Lots of happy smiley faces around Oakley!
YIPPPPIE: We got to see artist impressions of what the park could look like along with costings the park designers. WOW what a difference a little imagination can make. We are working with the Borough Council to see when we can release some of the mock ups with the general public.
In order for us to apply for funding via the borough council we have to prove that the local community us are behind the project. We set up an online petition to obtain signatures by way of support and also circulated a questionnaire for the residents to fill in. We also put up our first posters around the village. Hoooooooray!
Lots and lots and lots of meetings and form filling in. We are currently working super hard to get all this done as it will have a large knock-on effect on how we raise funds going forward.
We have lots of ideas as to how we can come together as a community to raise funds for the project. Donations, sponsorship, events, maybe even a party (yippie!) We will also be looking into additional grants and schemes that we could be eligible for. We want to make the final total a realistic figure and break that down so we are hitting achievable targets all throughout the year.
Everything goes live, the initial designs, the fundraising, the website. We can shout really loudly to let everyone know how they can donate to make those all important changes to the park.
Keep momentum, interest and funding coming in… it is as simple as that!
If you donate directly to our bank account we receive 100% of your donation.
THE TOTAL SO FAR
*Money raised via S106 / LIF Award / General public donations
WAHOOOOOO - THANK YOU FOR EVERY PENNY + POUND YOU HAVE SENT OUR WAY!
We still have a long way to go to reach our £125,000 target but with people like you on board, we are going to smash it.
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