Hello everyone, it is now March, and Christmas and New Year festivities are a distant memory and I am sure we are all starting to look forward to the spring. For those of us who regularly use Pittville Park, those harbingers of spring, crocuses and daffodils, made the most of an unseasonably warm February to brighten our days with a lovely early show of colour.

Friends of Pittville (FoP) Green Space Volunteers have been working tirelessly, even through the depths of the winter period, with the essential tidying of leaves, weeding, pruning of vegetation, planting of new shrubs and all the other routine but essential works to keep the park looking lovely, and ready to burst into bloom in the coming months.

The importance of the work of the Green Space Volunteers cannot be underestimated, and their work has many benefits, not only to the physical environment and those who use the park, but also to the mental and physical health and wellbeing of the volunteers themselves. As an organisation, FoP has many achievements, the refurbishment of the main gates on Pittville Lawn being one, for which the organisation gained the Queens Award for Voluntary Service, the highest award given to UK volunteer groups and the equivalent of the MBE for the
voluntary sector. The end of 2023 saw the latest major project completed, the reinstatement of the previously lost steps in front of the Pump Room.

Both projects, like the many other similar smaller projects FoP has carried out, came about and were achieved through the dedication of our volunteers, who gave their time, effort and skills freely for the benefit of the wider community. In order to continue its works in the future, the organisation needs two key elements. The first is to maintain an active membership prepared to give their time and use their skills for the benefit of the community. The second is the raising of sufficient funds to enable the works carried out to be paid for.

FoP has sought and gained grant funding towards some of the major projects but funds many smaller projects from the monies it raises each year. If you are reading this newsletter but are not a member of Friends of Pittville and would like to become involved, please visit our website where you will find a link to join us. www.friendsofpittville.org.uk.

The organisation raises funds in a variety of ways: through membership subscriptions, through member and public social events throughout the year (such as the quiz night), through direct donations and through being named as a beneficiary charity by players of the Cheltenham Lottery. Could I encourage any existing members, potential members or even any members of the general public who would like to support our work but cannot currently commit the time, to consider naming the organisation as their beneficiary charity if they play the Cheltenham
Lottery. www.cheltenhamlottery.co.uk. Alternatively, one-off donations are always welcome, and the charity can also claim gift aid if the
appropriate details of the donor are provided. And finally, for those who have a special connection to Pittville Park and wish to see its preservation for the benefit of future generations, the organisation would be forever grateful for being included in any potential legacy.

Thank you in anticipation of any support that you may be able to provide, in whatever form that may take, and I hope that you can all take the time to enjoy the wonderful facility that is Pittville Park this year.

David Kay
Chair | Friends of Pittville