Wander down to Heeley People's Park on a fine Sunday afternoon and you'll find it hard to believe that it had been left derelict and disowned for decades after a failed dual-carriageway project saw families and businesses evicted from the area. What changed?
In the mid-nineties, a local group came together to protect the interests of the community and transform an unloved corner of Sheffield into what was originally know as Heeley Millennium Park. Twenty years down the line, Heeley People's Park is the largest community run park in the country, providing a home for wild life and bird species, as well as a space to escape, be active, meet and play for Heeley residents and visitors. With two boulders, cycle tracks, picnic and play areas, incredible views, wildflower meadow and orchards; it's like a mini Peak District near the centre of Sheffield.
The best thing about Heeley People's Park? It's paid for and managed by the residents and businesses in the area: a true park of and for the people!
Maintaining such a beautiful landscape over the summer months is a task that few amongst us would turn our noses up to, but now that temperatures and leaves are beginning to fall the work becomes far more demanding and the Outdoor Park Team are out come rain or shine (and let's face it - usually rain!) to work on the park. At the Alpkit Foundation, we happen to know a fair bit about staying protected from the elements; so when Frank from the Heeley People's Park got in touch with us, we were delighted to be able to help the team to keep the rain off whilst they tended the parkland by kitting them out with Alpkit Balance jackets.
Strike a pose! Members of the Outdoor Park Team looking pretty chuffed with their new jackets!
'Since gaining the award the Team have been out in rain and shine, cold and warm.' Frank explained, 'They have put the equipment through some basic testing on tools and found that they are both durable and breathable. Ultimately, we can ensure that they are both warm and dry whilst maintaining out landscape and the team can rely onAlpkit'sequipment and support to continue our work on the landscape inHeeleyand in our park.
The Heeley People’s Park project is one of the first in the country, pioneering ways of sustaining a local park with the help of local people and business who want to see the park thrive.
They continue to set an example for sustainable community-led work to other organisations across the country, all of which wouldn't be possibly without the generous donations and volunteer time invested in the park. If you would like to know more about the Heeley People's Park, are interested in getting involved by donating or volunteering, or just fancy seeing what they're up to, visit , or follow them on Alpkit.com/foundation