The Forde Park Community Project has been set up to convert a disused pavilion in a Devon park into a thriving and vibrant café and public space. The project, based at Forde Park, Newton Abbot, will encourage people with special needs to run the café, providing this often overlooked community with a worthwhile role and an all-important sense of purpose after leaving formal education.
Thank you for your interest in this project. My name is Charlotte, I am 21 and I have lived in Newton Abbot all my life. I have always been greatly supported by the community as I am unable to be independent without the assistance of others.
I started school in Decoy and then moved to Bidwell Brook where I stayed until I was 19. I am currently attending Lifeworks College in Dartington. This is my final year and whilst there I have been learning skills that will enable me, with support, to hopefully obtain a job.
The problem is that it is going to be difficult from here on in for my friends and I to be able to give something back to the community and provide a service that will be of benefit to you all without ongoing support and supervision.
I am very excited about the prospect of turning the Pavilion in Forde Park into a cafe where my friends and I can be employed.
I will be very grateful for any support you personally can give us...even if it is just to come and have a coffee with us when we are open. Hopefully you can see in the picture what I can be capable of.
Plans courtesy of Harris McMillan Architecture and Design.
Forde Park is a popular 8-acre area of green surrounded by residential properties. The park has 3 hard public tennis courts and a croquet lawn adjacent to the disused pavilion, which is already serviced by electricity, mains water and inside lavatories.
With the help of donations, volunteers and the generosity of local residents, we plan to transform the pavilion into a vibrant, well-used café which will welcome all users of the park.
The café will be staffed by adults with special needs, supported by the kindness of volunteer helpers. Once everything's in place, with the café up and running and opening its doors to everyone, we believe the new facility will prove a popular addition to the existing attractions of the park, while also delivering sorely needed and hugely beneficial employment opportunities.
But to re-establish this vital community resource, we need your support – and just £20.20 will go a long, long way to help make our project possible in 2020!
For just £20.20 you can become a Friend of Forde Park Community Project. Your kind contribution will confirm that you've added your vital support to one of the West Country's most valuable and important community schemes, enabling us to breathe new life into a vital resource that will impact the entire local community by the end of 2020.
Chair of the Forde Park Community Project, Dr. Mark Clarvis, says the opportunities for people with special needs could be much better:
"I have lived in Decoy, Newton Abbot for 30 years and have a daughter with special needs. I am very aware of a lack of employment opportunities for her peer group. I am also saddened by the run-down condition of the pavilion in Forde Park and would like to see it returned to its former glory and be of benefit to the local community. I also have a wish to see the use of the tennis courts and croquet lawn promoted to encourage health and wellbeing in our community."
Dr. Mark Clarvis, Trustee