Erewash Borough Council has appointed Helen Mitchem as the new Community Ranger for Victoria Park in Ilkeston, whose role will be to promote the much-loved park and expand its use.

Helen has taken up the role as part of the National Lottery funded heritage project at the park, which will see the transformation of key features – including the bandstand and bowls pavilion and the installation of impressive new gates based on the original Victorian entrance.

The council secured £740,800 from the Heritage Lottery Fund and Big Lottery Fund for the major project and work is now underway.

Helen will help oversee the work, but her main role will be to work with the local community to increase the activities on offer at the Green Flag park.

She will liaise closely with the Friends of Victoria Park to look at ways of getting more volunteers involved and extending their role in taking the park forward for future generations. The next Friends group meeting is Monday 27 June at 6.30pm at Ilkeston Fire Station and new members are welcome to go along.

One of her key roles will be to get local schools and residents more involved and she is keen to provide more outdoor education activities to encourage children to connect with nature. She is also hoping to look at activities for residents in local care homes.

Helen is now looking for input from local people and all local groups – from scout and cub groups through to community organisations for older people – and is keen to hear their ideas on how they would like to use the park and what activities they would like.

Anyone wanting to discuss ideas or find out more can email Helen: [email protected] or call her on 0115 907 2244 extension 3864.

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