Hello everyone. It is June, and the summer solstice will soon be upon us, providing longer days and shorter nights to allow us to make the most of the great outdoors, whether that is in our own gardens or the wonderful facility that is Pittville Park – assuming of course that the weather allows us!

As I am sure many of you are aware, the park has suffered a little this year due to the prolonged periods of rain which have caused issues with standing water and mud adjacent to footpaths, especially at busy intersections. However, despite the vagaries of the weather, Friends of Pittville Green Space Volunteers have continued to work tirelessly on essential weeding, spring pruning of vegetation, planting of new shrubs and all the other routine but essential works to keep the park looking lovely and ready for the community to take advantage of better weather.

This month has seen the park used to commemorate the 80th anniversary of D-Day, when the community came together to celebrate and give thanks for that generation of people who gave so much for all our futures, some giving everything, and we should never forget such selfless service. We are also now in an election period, and whilst this is no place to talk politics, it is perhaps interesting to note proposals for the re-introduction of national service for 18-year-olds. This proposal has had a very mixed reception, but it begs the question of why emphasis on national service, or more broadly service to the community, should be targeted at a single age group?

The importance of volunteering, whether that is via groups such as Friends of Pittville or its Green Space Volunteers, or with other local community groups and organisations such as the Scouts, should not be underestimated, and their work has many benefits, not only to the physical environment and the members of the local community, but also to the mental and physical health and wellbeing of the volunteers themselves.

So perhaps it is time for us all to give some consideration to this and to paraphrase John F

Kennedy’s inauguration speech – ask not what your community can do for you, ask what you can do for your community.

If you are reading this newsletter and are not a member of Friends of Pittville but would like to become involved, then please visit our website: www.friendsofpittville.org.uk. There you will find the link to become a member, together with information on Green Space Volunteering and the other activities of the organisation.

We raise funds in a variety of ways, through membership subscriptions, through a variety of member and public social events (such as the Quiz Night, Plant Sale or Garden Party), through direct donations and through being named as a beneficiary charity of players of the Cheltenham Lottery (www.cheltenhamlottery.co.uk). Could I encourage any existing members, potential members or any members of the general public who would like to support the work of the organisation but cannot currently commit the time for active volunteering to consider naming the organisation as their beneficiary charity if they play the Cheltenham Lottery.

Thank you in anticipation of any support that you may be able to provide, in whatever form that may take, as all involved in the organisation give their time and efforts entirely free of charge, and all monies raised go to funding our works within Pittville Park for the benefit of the community. I hope that you can all take the time to enjoy Pittville Park this summer.

David Kay