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June / July 2019 Newsletter

Make it your 'happy place'

It's been an amazing few weeks with Dogtopia, our Community Sports Day and the SS17 Community Festival held over the last month. Thank you to everyone who supported, it's brilliant when the park is full of people having a good time. Plenty more fun to be had over the course of the year. Keep up to date on social media or our website for new dates @LoveHardiePark.  September to December is currently being scheduled, preview SAVE THE DATE info below, watch this space!

Community Sports Day - Thank you!

Wow, we had such a great turn-out on Sunday 23rd June both from sporting providers delivering have-a-go activities and local families coming along to the park to enjoy a day of outdoor fun. Some families brought a picnic acknowledging Eden Project's Big Lunch others used the cafe for refreshments.

Thanks to ETUFC Youth, Stanford Rugby, Club, Stanford le hope Cricket, Fusion Netball, Caroline Williams/I'm an Insaniac, Yoga with Jane, SS17 Walkers, Combat Academy for Sports, Dan Butler on his BMX / the HP scooter crew on the skatepark, Health checks from Thurrock Council and Rob Groves for a fun hour of old fashioned games in the park. 

The tug-o-war was enjoyed by adults and kids alike, egg and spoon race, running race and bean bag throwing competitions kept everyone in good spirits. 

THANK YOU to all who attended. THANK YOU to all who supported. IT WAS AMAZING!

(Credit: Jacques Feeney ETUFC Photographer) - Thanks to Hassenbrook Academy for free use of their car park and field.

Tunes and chill weekender

A huge thank you to our amazing community, local businesses and talent for supporting the SS17 Community Festival last weekend. Too many people to mention! Our volunteers were once again key in making the event happen. Food, fun and frolics all round, It certainly put a big smile on a few faces. 

Lots of local businesses supported the event selling their products. A variety of food stalls, Crepes, Caribbean Food, Fish and Chips and the Hardie BBQ helped feed our visitors. Beverages were served by The Bubble Tap, VDub Tavern. Little Legs Buses and Bounce attended for the children.

Woohoo...another community fun day success!

Finalist for Save our Spaces Award

We are delighted to announce that Friends of Hardie Park has been shortlisted as a finalist for the 2019 Locality Awards in the Save our Spaces Award category. We have been shortlisted in the category that celebrates an organisation who saved a publicly owned space for the benefit of the community.

We are really excited that the park has once again been recognised on a national scale for it's work in the community. Here's a link to the Locality website which explains the bigger picture and the ideas behind the initiative. 

Award Categories

About Locality - The power of community

Bike recycle project

We have successfully applied for a grant from South Essex Active Travel to set up a bike recycling and cycling engagement project at Hardie Park. The funding will allow us to recycle donated bikes and make affordable bikes for the local community. We will be hiring an apprentice, a local young person who will get on-the-job training while gaining an industry-standard Level 2 Bike Maintenance qualification.  We'll also be offering free training to local people who want to learn how to repair and maintain their own bikes, basically anything and everything to get local people cycling!  Anyone can volunteer for this project so to find out more, click the button below!

Click here to learn more

Fancy being an 'extra' on the 11th July

There will be a film crew in the park on 11th July capturing what Hardie Park is all about. The footage will be used as a backdrop at the Locality Awards ceremony in November. If you would like to pop down please do between 1pm and 3pm. 


A sneak preview of our Autumn/Winter dates!

Full details of timings and content to follow.

Make it your happy place!

Out in the community we can all help in a small way to support those suffering with dementia. One easy step is to register with Dementia Friends online, watch their informative video and receive a badge to raise awareness. Register > here  The more of us promoting awareness locally can only be a good thing!

At Hardie we realise that our general understanding and patience could make a customer or visitor feel more comfortable dealing with tasks on a day to day basis. We have already been told by our regulars that our cafe is their 'Happy Place'. It is a great place to sit, chat and have company if you are feeling isolated at home caring for a loved one or suffering with the condition yourself. Come down for a coffee or tell a friend or neighbour that may be isolated to pop in. It can be your/their happy place too!

Getting NEETS back on track

Jeanette from Forest School for All received a grant in January of this year from UnLtd, (The Millenium Trust)  to deliver a support programme for NEETS age 16-25 years. 'NEETS' stands for 'not in education, employment or training'. If you know someone who may need support to get back on track, needs some one to one time to find out what might be the next step in order to re-engage with work or education please contact Jeanette. It could be that you have found work but are struggling to stay employed. If so, get in touch.

There's a drop in workshop 10am on Thursdays at the park and it's a FREE service!

It may be that as a parent you would like to pop in for a chat to get the ball rolling and find out what support might be available. 

One of Jeanette's teens is currently creating art and craft pieces to sell at the forthcoming Artisan Market at the park. From the simple task of finding something that is engaging, Jeanette can work with young people to extend that idea and motivate them to expand their horizons. The grant received from UnLtd allows Jeanette to support clients in whatever way they might need to achieve their goals. Whether that be equipment, training, transport, uniform, exam costs the funds are in place to meet their needs. 

It's a local, personal service that is there to re-engage our young people. Sometimes we need a break to look at things differently or access some help and advice with an alternative approach.  Make the call to Jeanette or pop in to the cafe for a coffee and a casual chat. Call 07788 529505 or email

We love Samantha's story

A message from the young cyclists mum, 'Hi just wanted to say thank you for such a wonderful park. My 5 year daughter is currently learning to ride her bike and the paths are perfect and safer than others!!! We really enjoyed it today and will be down most weekends to get her riding alone! Today we practised gliding so she can get riding hopefully very soon!!!
So a massive thanks! The park is being used to not only play and create memories but also to learn lifetime skills!!!'

£770 donation following four paw entertainment

The Dogtopia Show held recently was an outstanding success. Three charities received donations from the proceeds of the show. Help Bec Beat Brain Cancer, The Essex Retired Police Dogs and ourselves at Hardie Park. It was a pleasure to host and the feedback has been amazing.

Thank you to Dogtopia Pet Services and Alicias Obedience Dog Training for delivering the doggie entertainment. The kind donation of £770 is much appreciated. It was a fabulous day with visitors coming from far and wide.

Summer Fete at SLH Primary - we'll be there!

Stop by for a chat at our stall on Tuesday 16th July. We'll be talking to parents about our upcoming events, the cafe, clubs for all generations and volunteering opportunities.

You might be lucky in the school raffle too and win an Afternoon Tea for 2 at the park. Make sure you buy a ticket!

Amazon donations trickling through

If you sign up and nominate Hardie Park as your chosen charity when shopping with Amazon Smile, a percentage comes direct to us. Between January and March 2019 we received £13.62 in donations. 

Thanks to everyone who has signed up so far. Here's the weblink if you'd like to find out more >>

Performing Parks Project update

Hardie Park's Rob Groves has been working with five other parks in the borough as part of the NESTA Rethinking Parks Programme funded by Heritage Lottery Fund and Big Lottery Fund.

Litter picks have been a popular route to engaging the community to take responsibility for their local parks. The uptake has been amazing with all ages getting involved.

Friends of Aveley and Kenningtons Park held an event at the end of May and raised £546. They arranged a Motorcycle Ride from The Old Ship in Aveley to Latchingdon near Chelmsford. BBQ, disco and a band played into the evening with fundraising activities over the course of the day. What a fabulous effort from the Aveley team. 

Bonnygate in Ockendon have planned a bounce day in the park subsidising the cost to the community with their NESTA funding. Just £1 per child for all day bounce and soft play. The team are encouraging the community to bring a picnic to the park on Saturday 3rd August between 12pm to 4pm. We really hope the local community embrace the idea and get inspired by the use of their park in such a positive way. 

Grays Beach, Lightship Cafe held a birthday event to celebrate two years of opening. Lots of activities were arranged at the end of May to entertain the local community and the volunteers were happy with the turn-out. Tribe by the Thames, forest school activities, bouncy castles, Chess challenge, a radio station in attendance and craft ladies at the park.

If you want to keep up to date with the Performing Parks Project and Rob's Blog click through here to the dedicated page on our website

Fancy volunteering? CLICK HERE

Little Legs Bus and Bounce Days

Our ever popular Summer Bounce Days will be taking place over the six weeks holidays. They are run by local company Little Legs Buses and include use of the bouncy castles and the double decker between 12pm to 4pm. Local stallholders also attend and the cafe is open from 9am to 4pm to provide food, refreshments and toilet facilities for our visitors.

Dates: 6th / 13th and 20th August from 12pm to 4pm

Weekly Clubs Timetable
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Friends of Hardie Park

Hardie Park Cafe

Hardie Road


Essex  SS17 0PB

07803 295374

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