Ever since Swindon Restore has been located in St John’s church hall in the Parks area of Swindon customers and volunteers have complained about one thing: the state of the car park.
For as long as people can remember the car park adjacent to the church has been covered in lose stones with large potholes and an uneven surface. This made crossing it hazardous for the elderly and disabled and the surface was doing no favours for their tyres and steering. During winter months rain and ice made the area even more hazardous.
Restore, the charity project based in the church hall on Whitbourne Avenue that aims to support people who are unemployed or unable to access the work place due to issues such as ill health or isolation, decided three years ago to try to raise enough money to resurface the car park as a gift to the church.
Now the dream of a smooth parking surface has come true when a Landfill Communities Fund grant for £10,558.00 from The Hills Group Limited was used to tarmace the site. The money was made available through the fund administered for Hills by Community First, the Rural Community Council for Wiltshire.
Ian Howard Project Manager at Restore said: “We are delighted with the new car park, it is everything that we had hoped for. We can now park our van and load and unload with no fear of slipping on the uneven surface. Our customers are pleased and say how much it improves their visit to Restore. One of our regular customers said it’s ‘brilliant’ because it means that “people could now cross the car park with their shopping trollies.”
Chris Watts, councillor for Liden, Eldene and Parks South, commented: “I am delighted for Swindon Restore and the Parks community. This is great work by all those involved to achieve a positive outcome and improve the area for all. A good example of what can be achieved by hard work, determination and community spirit.”
Revd Teresa Michaux from St Johns Church added: ‘We are delighted to have been in partnership with Restore on this project and are absolutely thrilled with the resurfacing work now completed on our car park. This means that those who visit the church cab park safely and gives a superbly welcoming appearance to the area’.
Restore is also looking forward to using the space in a variety of ways such as a venue for the forthcoming ‘Party in the Parks’ on 12 September, occasional markets and other community events.