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Over the last few years, Portswood Rec has undergone some major changes and improvements are set to continue as funding is found. Here's a brief summary of what we've achieved each year:
2019 Our small but dedicated group of gardeners led by our secretary Denise set to work reinstating the wildlife garden at the Rec that had become very overgrown. The new garden has been planted up to attract bees and other insects. The first stage of this project has been affectionately nicknamed the "Pollinator Patch" and work is now continuing in the garden areas around this central bed.
2018 The year started well with us receiving a small grant from Southern Water that enabled us to contribute the remaining funding needed by SCC to complete the refurbishing of the tennis courts. The tarmac surface of the existing courts had broken down and was breaking up making it dangerous for anyone playing tennis. After the resurfacing was completed, the courts were ready to play on by the summer.
Later in the year, Portswood Rec was chosen by Southampton City Council to host a silent silhouette in the shape of a suffragette which was released by the Royal British Legion to mark 100 years since the end of the First World War.
2017 Following a successful application to the Lottery Commission we were delighted to join forces with the local Dementia Action Group and Carers in Southampton to organise a festival at the Rec, with live music, lovely teas, cakes and games for all the family. Not to mention a great write up in the local paper!
2015 has got off to a flying start. We are pleased to announce that we have secured £35,000 in funding from the SITA trust to replace the old wooden ship in the play area. Once the work was completed we held a Pirate Launch Party where we were joined by the Sheriff of Southampton, Councillor Linda Norris for panning for treasure, balloon swords, treasure trail,and other activities, plus of course refreshments.
2014 - Saw Friends of Portswood Rec go from strength to strength. Our two major projects for this year have been to secure grant funding for further improvements to the play area, and to increase involvement in upkeep of the Rec. Our grant application is progressing well and we hope to hear in December if we have been successful.
We have been really pleased by all the help you have given us in supporting maintenance of the Rec. Lots of parents and friends have joined our play area clean up days, and the play area is now looking better than ever.
Lukas and Pawel have been keeping the weeds around the tennis court down, and have swept up over 4 cubic meters of mud and rotting leaves from the footpath by the school which has been greatly appreciated by everyone taking children to school on wet days.
2013 - One of the first improvements the Friends of Portswood Rec were aiming to achieve was better access from Brickfield Road, which following a successful campaign and funding bid resulted in an access ramp being installed in Autumn 2013.
We worked with the Council on plans to update the play area, and following consultations with the public, work began in Spring 2013. A nautical theme was chosen, with an octopus play structure, shark bench and a whale bench along with a pyramid climbing frame being installed. We continue to seek additional funding to improve the play area further by encouraging more inclusive play with the provision of more equipment designed for children with mobility issues.
We also organinsed a very well attended community event to celebrate the installation of the Fields In Trust plaque. The profit raised from this event was used to fund insurance and running costs for the next couple of years.
2012 - Portswood Rec became a designated Queen Elizabeth II Playing Field in 2012. This award to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II, London Olympics and Paralympics in 2012 and the Commonwealth Games in 2014 has seen Southampton City Council sign a Deed of Dedication, which will protect the Rec forever as a Field in Trust, ensuring future generations will be able to enjoy this lovely public play area without fear of development. The award also offers unique funding opportunities, which the Friends of Portswood Rec hope to utilise to continue updating and improving the facilities at the Rec, making it an even better place to visit.
2011 - the Rec was awarded the First Place in the prestigious Southampton Open Spaces Award scheme backed by the City of Southampton Society and the Southampton Common and Parks Protection Society (SCAPPS). The award was presented by the Mayor of Southampton Terry Matthews at a ceremony in the Rec. The new Friends of Portswood Rec group was formed and constituted after this event to continue the improvements to the Rec, enhancing the lives of the local community through environmental and social development.