Are you a community champion?

13th July 2018

Bill Davidson is, and he has realised his dream of transforming Parkeston.

When he first took on responsibility for opening and closing the area’s park gates, Bill, 73, a parish councillor and chairman of Parkeston Residents and Welfare Park Association, started to think about how the park could be improved.

“It was in quite a bad state and first of all I set about picking up any litter,” he said.

“Then I took it a bit further and thought about other ways of making the park better. Parkeston was a small, forgotten village and there was a lot to do to make people feel more motivated and bring back community spirit.”

With the help of dedicated volunteers, local fundraising and grants from the independent charitable trust, Essex Community Foundation (ECF) Bill’s dream has become a reality. The local community now has a park to be proud of and the jewel in the crown is a newly-opened Parkeston hub.

The hub, which will be used for a wide range of community activities, has been developed in Parkeston’s former bowls club building in Hamilton Street.

Bill said: “The refurbishment is going really well, a lot of work has been carried out and we have lots of new equipment. The new fences are up, accessibility ramps are down, we have a store room, changing rooms and facilities for groups such as a dining club for elderly people.

“It really has been a fantastic community effort and I estimate we have had the help of around 500 volunteers, including people on the community payback scheme.”