The Friends of Eaton Street Park – Community Group of the Year.

The group was initially formed in 2010 after local residents got together to support the Revitalisation of the Park. Initially comprising of just eight members, the group has grown and expanded both in number and achievement over the years having developed it’s own events programme and increasing memberships.

One of the group’s first achievements was the installation of new gates to the park and the restoration of the rose garden, which had sadly fallen into decline. Working alongside officers from both Knowsley and Prescot Town Councils the group managed to draw in £10,000 of external funding and developed links with Evelyn Primary School whose pupils helped to design the new gates. The existence of the group themselves and their role in delivering the park improvements were a key component that allowed an application for a Green Flag Award to be submitted. The park did indeed gain Green Flag status in 2012 and has maintained the award ever since.

A constant barrier to the group’s progression was the lack of a suitable building from which it could provide onsite activities. Once again, the group’s activities in gathering evidence to support another funding application were invaluable and this led to removal of the dilapidated former scout hut and its replacement with a modern fit for purpose pavilion building at a cost of £80,000. The friends were then able to use the pavilion as a base to provide a weekly coffee afternoon on the park for the last four years, come rain or shine. Not satisfied with a weekly event the Friends have now developed an annual program of events held on the park, some free to the public whilst others generate an income that is then reinvested into the parks infrastructure or future free events. The last example of this was the replacement of the old wooden benches around the bowling green with solid granite blocks, a replacement of this type means new seating will literally last forever, a project which cost £2,100.

Most recently the group have been involved with a project to provide activities on the park during the school holidays with over 200 residents in attendance.