Congratulations to The Friends of Debdale Park who have become the first park group in Manchester to receive the prestigious Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.

The award recognises the hard work over the years of the many volunteers who have worked to help maintain Debdale Park making it a special place for the community to enjoy.

The group has set up and run numerous projects for the community including cycling, walking, horticulture, woodworking, fishing, arts and crafts, all projects which continue to grow.

Allan Grafton, Chair of the Friends group explained: “The Friends is an umbrella organisation of both individuals and projects based in the park. On some days there can be over 50 people in the various projects which cater for people of all ages, abilities and needs. Our aim is to provide something for everyone.”

The scope of the work of the Friends has grown over the years and the group has recently taken delivery of a new tractor mower to help maintain the grass areas of the park – the third acquired this year for use by volunteers.

Fund-raising is now being coordinated for a Green Gym, with exercise frames located around the park, and to renew the rose garden, as well as introducing more woodland and wild flower areas.

Current priorities also include the restoration of the Georgian house in the centre of the park, Gorton House. This is an ambitious £2m project to provide a wide range of community facilities in a restored house which was built in the 1790s by wealthy textile merchant Robert Grimshaw.


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