A busy 2019 for the Friends

We’re really pleased with what we’ve been able to achieve in 2019, despite being short of volunteers.

A calendar chock-full of great events

As well as our regular well-attended Summer Fete, we held a successful Community Harvest Day and hosted popular fortnightly summer concerts at the bandstand.

We also celebrated the bicentenary of John Ruskin’s birth, with a varied programme of walks, talks and poetry workshops with school children and students from the SLaM Recovery College.

Helping improve the park and community garden

We expanded our community gardening programme to every first and third Saturday morning. There’s been a series of improvements to the wildlife garden, thanks to our partnership with Lambeth Council and Froglife.

Work has begun on upgrading the Community Garden, which will include adding a new greenhouse, shed and raised beds to help more people take part in vegetable growing.

Growth in partnership working

We’ve strengthened our relationship with Lambeth Council by establishing a strategic partnership with regular meetings.

Lambeth and Trees for Cities held volunteering days for employers including the Ministry of Justice, PwC and Defra, with enhancements to the formal planting areas.

Ruskin Park is a pilot for a new ‘Health Parks’ initiative, so we hosted the launch event in May. Where possible we’re incorporating recommendations into the Masterplan.

Paddling pool triumph

A dedicated volunteer group continues to fundraise for, paint, clean and maintain the well-used paddling pool. We had continued support from Urban Village estate agents and funding from the Co-op.

Driving forward opportunities for better park maintenance

ButterlyLambeth Landscapes has carried out essential repairs to a number of benches in the park. However, their general condition remains poor and we’re asking park supporters to consider sponsoring a bench in the park.

UK Power Networks project to replace the main electricity cable from Loughborough Junction to Peckham over-ran considerably, leaving trenches open and reinstatement works on hold. We made our feelings known and attended progress meetings, but reinstatement work must continue. The contractors made donations to the Paddling Pool and for new gates at the Denmark Hill entrance.

Read our annual report to find out more about park maintenance over 2019 and our plans for 2020.

Growing our volunteer base

Over the past year we’ve endeavoured to increase our volunteer base but still have an urgent need for more local park users to get involved, such as by helping with event organisation and projects. We need to balance bidding for new grants with our capacity for delivering projects.