Behind the scenes @Par_Track
As we wait patiently for the imminent transfer of Par Track to the community, from Cornwall Council, we thought you might like to find out what a busy bunch of volunteers we all are and what on earth we have been doing this last few weeks. Taking on something like this might seem straight forward, after all, its just a track and a couple of football pitches, but how wrong you could be…and how much have we had to learn! We are now experts in everything from toilet cleaning rotas to best seed varieties for football pitches to flood alleviation schemes!! Here are our highlights (just a tiny fraction of what we are doing around our day jobs!) from the last couple of weeks:
Doug has been…negotiating with the Council on the lease, liaising with the Environment Agency on flooding issues, working with Better to ensure the site is handed over with no major issues, this includes work to the bridge and floodlights, dealing with our funders (yes we do have one!) and generally trying to keep the whole thing moving…Doug has tried to retire on a number of occasions but keeps putting his hand up to sort things out in the community…we are very lucky to have someone with such great diplomacy skills and he really is the heartbeat of this project.
Steve has been investigating raising land levels to rezolve flooding and make more of the site useful, developing a marketing plan and leading on sponsorship/advertising so we can get the message out and attract more users and income…he has been instrumental in focusing on our three consultation events for the community, with one already down! He has also written a press release for the final consultation evening and has met several times with the team to discuss the many other issues that we face…all while he tries to keep the horse owners of this country supplied with great tack!
Dave our illustrious athletics leader has been hard at work working closely with one of our favorite volunteers Tamsyn, to get the Park Run initiative off the ground. They have met to work our routes and logistics and are now feverishly trying to drum up the £3k which we need to pay Park Run to get this off the ground…Dave is also helping with design and sourcing of quotes for the development of an exciting new play area and changes to the clubhouse to make more space for users to enjoy the facilities.
Gill our community guru has been busy as a bee knocking on doors and hand delivering invitations to our community consultation evenings and was on the door of our first one welcoming people in. Every neighbouring resident to Par Track was personally invited to come and talk to us and hear our plans at the first consultation evening, so we are leaving no stone un-turned to ensure everyone has had a chance to talk to us…Gill continues to run a drop in at Par Library on the 1st Saturday of each month to answer questions and continues to spearhead the Sk8 Project…planning permission has been requested for this and Gill and a few others met the design company to discuss designs and funding for what could be an amazing facility for our young people…but funding for this sort of thing is not easy to come by…many people may rightly point out the time it has taken to get to this point, but we are now prioritising this and working on a Sport England bid to try and bring our kids a first class facility that they deserve.
Cam, one of our newest recruits, and probably already the busiest! has been using his significant techy skills to help us all manage the work we are doing, investigating and designing back office systems to manage the projects and keep us all organised. Cam volunteered for a trip to Manchester to know how to be a ‘community business finance expert’ which he fitted in around his day job, great commitment Cam 😉 so Cam is now our go-to man on all things accountancy for Societies! He’s also been researching booking systems, sending out invitations for consultation evenings, sorting out invoices for the advertising hoardings we are now selling, preparing our monthly accounts and sorting vending machine suppliers…more effort next week please Cam!!
Collin continues to beaver away on business plans, finances, budgets and links with clubs. Collin kindly offers up his facilities for all our meetings while we wait to get keys to the site…Collin and Kym are joining Jon in London next week to pitch to a major funder for an exciting new initiative at the Track which would significantly help us to be sustainable in the future… good luck guys!
Darren, who is our part-time manager has been working tirelessly on the mechanics of the transfer…far too many things to update here, from rotas, to health and safety to kitchen hygiene, what Darren doesn’t know about running a sports facility isn’t worth knowing and he is driving a number of changes which will mean the site is fully compliant and well run. Way to go Darren…
There are many other people involved in the group, and they have all been busy supporting the transfer…so much is going on that it’s impossible to cover it all…from funding bids, to constant meetings with new users, finding volunteers, liaising with existing users, potential sponsors, suppliers, sorting insurance etc etc etc
…and we’ve all met on at least 2 occasions to discuss the thorny issues around parking and pricing in full knowledge that many people are unhappy with these…we hope you’ll understand that we are doing our best to tackle all these issues and come up with solutions, but at the same time, please give us time…this is a monumental task we have taken on and there are no easy answers to any of it. We, like you, are passionate about our community and hope that you will understand the huge amount of work going into this…if you have some spare time, a skill that might help us, or just want to give us some moral support, please drop us a line! If on the other hand you think we could be doing things better, or that you could do it better, by all means, come and help us 😉