Park Life Heavitree Secures £300k Grant Towards Café And Community Hub
Power to Change, an organisation set up to grow and support community businesses in England, has awarded Park Life Heavitree with a £300k grant, nearly half of the funding required to build and deliver a much-needed Community Café and Hub in Heavitree Pleasure Grounds, Exeter. The Hub will provide a community space for groups and activities as well as for local people to meet and develop relationships and interests. The project will create at least four paid jobs for local people as well as further volunteer opportunities. The build is due to start later in 2019.
Park Life Heavitree is a community business run by, and for, the local area. It was started in August 2011 by a small team of local parents that wanted to bring together people from all walks of life, with the park acting as the ‘community glue’ in the heart of Heavitree. It uses its profits to make Heavitree a better place to live, work and visit, building community to bring about social change through a range of facilities, activities and services. This has included a meal delivery service for those most in need.
The Park Life team organise and run events each month, including pop up cafes with the Park Life coffee van, The Big Lunch; a bring and share community lunch, and seasonal events for Mother’s Day, Pumpkin carving in October and Carol singing at Christmas. The annual headline Fun Day in September is hugely popular and attended by over 2000 people.
As well as standalone events, Park Life Heavitree collaborates with other local organisations and groups, particularly with a focus on health and wellbeing, encouraging hundreds of people to take part in a vast range of activities from volleyball, skating and ping pong to the Couch to 5k, Junior Parkrun, Fit Club and Tennis for free.
Kate Wilder, Chairperson for Park Life Heavitree said:
“Park Life Heavitree has always been about strengthening local relationships by coming together as a community to support each other and have fun. We are thrilled to have been awarded this funding from Power to Change. It is a significant step towards our goal of offering this amazing facility and community space in our park.
“The Café and Community Hub will be a huge benefit and support many people within the community. Thank you to all our volunteers and supporters who have encouraged us and helped over the years and specifically more recently as we work towards delivering this exciting new facility.”
The Park Life Community Cafe and Hub was granted planning permission in May 2018.