Thanks to John Bruce Telfer, Disability Access & Inclusion Advocate for the Newcastle Disability Forum, for supporting us in the planning and delivery of two initiatives that have improved the leisure facilities in Armstrong Park and Gosforth Central Park.
Fitness Zone in Armstrong Park
Through his role on Urban Green Connect John worked with our team on the selection of equipment for our new fitness zone in Armstrong park.
The zone includes a number of pieces of static exercise equipment that give our visitors a new way to work out in Armstrong Park, with pieces of kit focusing on a different zone of the body, giving a full and varied work out to improve strength, flexibility, balance, co-ordination & cardiovascular health.
This static equipment offers a fun, self-guided way to exercise that is challenging and effective regardless of the users fitness level, and with John’s guidance was made it even more accessible with the inclusion of a piece of adapted equipment for our parks users with mobility issues.
John said: “I am hugely impressed and enthusiastic to see adult exercise equipment (AEE) installed in Armstrong Park.
As well as encouraging the social use of parks, AEE contributes greatly to improving the overall physical and mental health of us all. The fact that AEE can be used by an enormous number of people with whatever intensity and frequency they themselves feel comfortable with does mean that, whilst there will be some park users who cannot or do not wish to make use of any AEE, I would hope that the variety of eqpt would mean these numbers would not be large.
I really enjoyed seeing the AEE already installed in Armstrong Park and the way the existing, and previously under-used space, has been renovated and can now be frequently used by a wide variety of people. I am certain it will attract more people into the park who had hitherto felt there was nothing there for them.”
Tennis Nets in Gosforth Central Park
(Pictured L-R: Tim Crook & Allan Gillard – Friends of Gosforth Central Park, Ken Douthwaite – Gosforth Garden Village Tennis Club, Emma Armstrong-Smith – Urban Green Newcastle, Geoff Morrison – Gosforth Garden Village Tennis Club)
John also used his networking skills to highlight the opportunity to collaborate with the Gosforth Garden Village Tennis Club and the Friends of Gosforth Park to make improvements to the tennis court nets in the park to benefit the local community.
John approached us when he found out that the Gosforth Garden Village Tennis Club (GGVA) had replaced their tennis nets and had old ones that were surplus to requirements. Ken Douthwaite, Chair of the club, was delighted that the nets could be donated to charity to replace nets on one of our courts in need of rejuvenation. It was decided that the nets would replace those in Gosforth Central Park as they were worn having been well used by our regular park users and as part of the Tennis for All sessions this autumn. This also meant that they were staying within the local and benefitting the local community close to the GGVA, and in a park where one of the clubs’ own members is a volunteer. The Friends of Gosforth Park very kindly agreed to make the necessary repairs to the posts and fit the nets during one of their weekly volunteer sessions. We are very grateful to everyone involved for the generous donation of the nets and their time to make this a success.
These initiatives are an example of the way that networking and collaboration with partners can enhance our leisure facilities across our green spaces. If your organisation would like to work with us to manage and maintain our parks then please get in touch with us today at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you’re interested in getting involved in conversations about recreation in our parks, you can sign up to be part of Urban Green Park Action, which is our way of consulting with our park users to create plans based on what they would like to see happen in our green spaces.