Appeal for volunteers after group chairman says she will stand down in January after nearly a decade of involvement
A rallying cry has gone out for volunteers to join a community group that has helped transform a popular town park over almost 25 years.
Sarah Horton has announced she will be leaving the Friends of Oakley Park committee at the group’s annual meeting in January after nearly 10 years of involvement and five years as chairman.
She said: “I feel it’s time for a change so I can get on with my own hobbies. I don’t want to leave the Friends of Oakley Park committee depleted so I am on a recruitment drive.
“We need some specific skills in the committee to complement the ones that already exist.”
The group was formed in September 1989 after locals became concerned about the condition of the park in Albany Road, Fleet, and wanted to do something to improve it.
Members have since tackled projects from clearing woodland to campaigning for improved equipment.
Mrs Horton, who will remain in the background as a non-committee member organising the group’s website, is now looking for people who would like to be involved in a major project.
“The park is lacking play equipment for older children and teenagers and we really need someone who is passionate about getting more things for teens and older children to do in Fleet,” she said.
“Fleet Town Council has agreed that in principle it is a good idea – we just need someone to do it.”
She said the group also needs someone good at finding funding and grants.
“There are so many good ideas for projects that have come up from the community and the committee but they cost money,” she said.
“If finding money is somebody’s forte then they would be a huge asset to the team.”
The group also needs general committee members or volunteers to help with jobs such as delivering newsletters and collecting subs.
“All of our committee have busy lives and so they understand that the pressures of life limit how much time you can put into voluntary work, but every little bit of help really does make a huge difference,” said Mrs Horton.
“Our meetings are really friendly and wine and snacks are always involved.”
The group, which was recently presented with a Britain in Bloom National Award of Distinction, is holding a ‘bug and bee hotel’ building workshop on November 9 at 10am, which promises to be a popular, first come, first served event.
“For £5, you can take one of these magnificent dwellings, hand-built by yourself, home for new residents to occupy in the spring,” added Mrs Horton.
Anyone interested in becoming a committee member can email firstname.lastname@example.org or call Mrs Horton on 01252 674815.