February - Connect With Your Community
Connect With Your Community
This month, we're bringing you ideas, hints and tips on some of the great community organisations which exist in our borough.
Connecting with people is great for promoting positive mental health, even if it means saying hello to a neighbour of many years or a stranger in the park while you are out and about.
Treat yourself and allocate some time to meet a friend for a walk in the park or, if you are going alone, just say hello to someone on your travels. You know what they say about how a smile is contagious – lets spread some smiles around Chesterfield.
Watch out for February half-term activities coming your way soon!
In your community...
If you are environmentally minded and want to try and make a difference to help make Chesterfield a more sustainable place, Transition Chesterfield might be ideal for you.
Formed in 2008, the group run practical projects and events to help the town become more resilient, sustainable, low-carbon and self-sufficient.
There are several community gardens always looking for new members. These are great ways to connect with people and giving your life that extra bit of purpose.
Shape Learning Partnership
Many schoolchildren in our area will know the work of the Sport, Health Activity and Physical Education (Shape) Learning Partnership in schools. Their role also sees them work with a number of local community clubs, organisations and key partners to support the wider community.
Shape Learning Partnership are part of Brookfield Community School. Formed in 2004 as Chesterfield and North East Derbyshire School Sports Partnership, their role is to support schools in providing opportunities for children and young people to be physically active. Shape do this in a variety of ways; through staff training and expert support, developing teachers’ knowledge and experience of PE and sport, delivering physical activity and health and wellbeing sessions, planning and delivering a wide range of school competitions and delivering young leadership qualifications. Shape also manage and deliver on national programmes such as School Games, inclusion and the Government-funded cycle training scheme Bikeability.
You can find out more about the work of Shape Learning Partnership on their website.
Become a friend of your local park
A great way to do something positive in your community, make a difference but also meet like-minded people is to become a 'friend' of your local park.
There are several groups across the borough associated with our parks. Some have been around for a while and have had many great accomplishments, while others are still relatively new but have also achieved great things in their community.
Groups are able to apply for funding which local authorities can’t acquire. If there isn’t one a group in your local area, then why not start one?
What do friends groups do?
Friends groups help us by giving us a valuable insight into the needs and aspirations of the local community. They can help gain funding for restoration and conservation projects and can give opinions on proposed plans for the parks and open spaces.
Many friends groups run their own events and they often plan work parties to carry out clean-ups and conservation work.
See more about Chesterfield's park friends groups - and how you can start your own - on our website.
A spotlight on some of our friends
Friends groups have done tremendous work in parks across the borough, thanks to the hard work of many dedicated people who care deeply about their communities.
The Friends of Eastwood Park, Hasland, was formed in 2006 with the single objective of repainting the park's memorial gates in time for its centenary in 2013. Since then, the Friends recreated Gala Day, a summer community event which showcases local groups and organisations and demonstrates the community's commitment to their park.
The group has also won significant National Lottery funding to revamp the park and village hall, Queen Elizabeth II Fields in Trust status, funding for outdoor gym equipment and a skate park, plus a brand-new pavilion.
The Friends of Badger Park formed in 2020 after their local playground in Brockwell failed its health and safety checks and was subsequently demolished, leaving nothing in its place with no plans of a replacement.
The group's first project was to plant thousands of daffodils in the park, partnering up with Chesterfield in Bloom and the local community. The Friends then set a fundraising goal of £5,000 which, if achieved, would enable the group to apply for funds to build a brand-new playground. The group completely surpassed the target and raised well over £8,000 within six months of forming the group, eventually winning their funding bid. Badger Park's new playground is now open for the community to enjoy.
Following the closure of Brushfield Park during lockdown, the Friends of Brushfield Park formed to raise funds for a regeneration of their beloved park.
The group held a number of events to raise money, from teddy bears' picnics, quizzes and family fun days to workout mornings, winter warmers and their famous Brushfield Bird-scarers Competition.
After much hard work, the Friends not only reached their £5,000 target, but also raised a further £1,000 in the process.
The Friends of Whitecotes Playing Field was set up with the aim of securing the long-term future of the field, improving facilities for all, protecting wildlife there and preserving its countryside-like feel.
Their first Annual General Meeting took place on 1 August 2016. Since then, funding has been secured totalling approximately £85,000 from a variety of sources, enabling a multitude of improvements such as new tarmac paths, better drainage, new surfacing and equipment for the playground as well as a brand-new play area and tarmac sports area.
The Friends of Monkey Park formed in April 2019 to raise vital funds for replacing the old play equipment in Chester Street Park (locally known as Monkey Park).
Alongside play area improvements, the group also aimed to make lots of general improvements to the park, including seating, picnic benches, steps down to the Holme Brook and planters at the main entrance.
To raise their target of £5,000, the group held a bake sale, a rummage sale, a raffle and a 'Reyt Big Busk' in New Square Arena alongside their successful JustGiving page. Generous donations were also received from external organisations.
The group had smashed their £5,000 target by August that year and, alongside Chesterfield Borough Council, successfully applied for £46,000 in funding for their new play area, which was opened to the public in August 2020.
Get involved with a community bowls club
Bowls clubs are sociable places full of people looking to have fun, which is why bowls is a great sport for relaxing, making new friends and feeling part of your local community.
Compared to most sports, age and gender differences have less of an effect on a game of bowls, so it’s the perfect way to enjoy some friendly competition with your family.
Best of all, there is likely to be a club just around the corner, no matter where you reside. According to Bowls England, after football, bowls has the second highest number of clubs in the country; you'll never be too far from your nearest club.
We have four crown bowling greens across our borough. You can find them at:
- Eastwood Park, Hasland
- King George V Playing Field, Staveley
- Stand Road Park, Whittington Moor
- Broom Gardens, Brimington
Some of our local clubs
Brimington Crown Green Bowling Club
- Located at Broom Gardens, Manor Road, Brimington Common, S43 1NH
- Welcomes all ages and abilities, both beginners and experienced, with equipment available when needed
- Indoor short mat bowling at Brimington Community Centre from October to March
- Outdoor bowling from March until September
- Free Tuesday morning coaching sessions from April (10.30am start)
- Contact: 01246 231421
Staveley King George V Bowling Club
- Meets at the park at the top of Cemetery Lane, Staveley
- Suitable for all age groups
- Looking for new members
- Outdoor bowling resuming in late March
- Give it a go for free - contact Kevin Hawes on 07964 140244
- Visit the the club Facebook page for latest information
Stand Road Bowls Club
- Meets in Stand Road Park, Whittington Moor, S41 8SR
- Looking for new members, for both social and competitive bowling
- Drop-in sessions from end of March, on Fridays at 12pm (noon)
- Contact Maureen Keyser on 07773 032643
Tennis Chesterfield - fully inclusive coaching
Learn to serve, rally and score! Tennis Chesterfield has a strong multi-award winning and fully inclusive disability coaching programme.
Tennis is a fun, adaptable sport - Tennis Chesterfield aim to introduce and progress anyone with a disability. They focus on nurturing the abilities of a person and love to celebrate the small achievements which are made.
Tennis Chesterfield aims to help everyone succeed, have fun, learn social skills, exercise and build confidence whilst learning.
Check them out across various platforms:
Join the active travel movement with Chesterfield Cycle Campaign
Do you enjoy cycling, and want to help promote active travel in our borough?
If the answer is 'yes' to either of those questions, you should consider becoming a member of Chesterfield Cycle Campaign.
The campaign promotes cycle use in Chesterfield for both leisure and utility journeys, aiming to improve conditions for bike users so that cycling becomes a safer and more attractive option than car travel for local journeys.
The campaign publishes its own printed cycle map of Chesterfield along with a number of ride leaflets that are available free of charge. Either download from the campaign website, or grab a copy from our Visitor Information Centre or at a Dr Bike workshop (organised by Inclusive Pedals).
Members of the Cycle Campaign also help at the monthly Dr Bike workshop in Queen’s Park, where they offer free bike checks and repairs, and also organise led rides for families, Friday Night Rides and Cycle in Style rides.
Find out more about becoming a campaign member on the Chesterfield Cycle Campaign website.
Cycling for all - adapted bike taster sessions and more
Everyone should be able to enjoy active travel, which is why social enterprise Inclusive Pedals hold adapted cycling taster sessions on the first Friday of every month (1pm to 3pm), from March to October. Why not come along to Queen's Park and try one of their three and four-wheel bike fleet, suitable for residents of all abilities and requirements.
Inclusive Pedals will also be hosting an adapted cycling open day in Queen's Park on Saturday 26 March, from 11am until 2pm.
Find out more about their adapted cycling scheme on the Inclusive Pedals website.