Through community events, parties, clubs and regular news updates, Jane Haskins has created a family friendly atmosphere at Graylingwell Park in Chichester that is fully in tune with the development’s feel-good aspirations.
Set in 85 acres of beautiful parkland, Graylingwell Park is the UK’s largest carbon neutral development and offers its residents a fantastic green lifestyle. This award-winning scheme is being developed jointly by Linden Homes, Affinity Sutton and the Homes & Communities Agency.
Jane has worked as community development officer for Chichester Community Development Trust for two and a half years. She was born in the city and lived there all her life so she certainly knows the area well. The Chichester Community Development Trust was set up as a charitable organisation responding to local priorities and needs.
With a wide age range and differing interests of the residents, Jane has been focusing on giving people a broad range of attractions. A community hall has been created where people meet and can participate in a choice of activities including a youth club, Sunday school, exercise classes such as Zumba and art classes, all of which will soon be moving to a new venue on site.
The Christmas party was one of Jane’s favourite events of the year: “It brought the whole community together with residents helping with the organisation, and bringing food for the children. We had Santa Claus, mulled wine for the adults and lots of games for the children. It showed what can be achieved if the spirit is right.”
Attendance at events is noticeably increasing, partly as residents move in but, more importantly, as people find the occasions to be a great way to meet the community from elsewhere on the Graylingwell Park development. Many of the events are now regular occasions on the annual calendar.
The third Summer Garden Party will be repeated in July 2013, following on from last year’s party when over £6,500 was raised for charity. “Last year, it rained all day, which did nothing to stop a good turnout and everyone really enjoyed all the activities from arts and crafts, animal petting, face painting and live music, to an assault course and a dog show,” remembers Jane.
Elsewhere at Graylingwell Park, a community garden has been flourishing since 2012. The first autumn harvest was very successful, with the residents who help in the garden reaping the rewards of their labours. Pears and apples from the orchard are presently fermenting to make perry and cider to use at a future community event. “We are organising a Beer & Sausage evening,” Jane explains, “to introduce people to the garden and show how it can benefit them. We want to encourage residents who have never tried gardening before and we are organising informal courses to help them.”
Graylingwell Park has environmental sustainability at its heart, with high quality, energy-efficient homes set in landscaped surroundings, all less than a mile from Chichester’s historic city centre. Jane says she particularly likes the open green spaces at Graylingwell Park: “Residents of all ages can enjoy nature right on their doorsteps: cricket for the children, Easter egg hunt, art trail, and much more.”
National events are not forgotten in this neighbourhood either; a coffee morning for BBC’s Children in Need raised £70. Graylingwell Park was also the first community to participate last June in the Chichester Cycle Challenge with prizes for active participants, while the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee was celebrated with a street party, family races and a bouncy castle.
It is easy to keep up-to-date with all the activities. “We have a bi-monthly newsletter that highlights all events organised by the Chichester Community Development Trust and the local church as well as reporting on other news of interest, and it’s all on our website too,” points out Jane.
“When Graylingwell Park was first conceived and planned, the ambition was to turn a redundant brownfield site into a sustainable development with a thriving and fulfilled community,” explains Natalie Flint, Linden Homes sales director. “The active participation of our residents in the activities by the Chichester Community Development Trust shows we are achieving both goals.”
Chichester Community Development Trust are making links with other organisations in the local area, such as Chichester University and Pallant house Gallery, to bring new and exciting activities and events to Graylingwell Park.
Graylingwell Park is perfectly located. While it is surrounded by glorious green parkland, it is close to Chichester’s comprehensive range of shops, bars and restaurants. Reaching the coast is easy too, with the stunning beach of West Wittering less than ten miles away.
For information about the Chichester Community Development Trust, please visit www.chichestercdt.org.uk.
|The Jubilee Party organised at Graylingwell Park last year.|
|The new homes in Nightingales at Graylingwell Park.|
Further media information: Nikki Ackerley/Emma Stevens, Property House Marketing, 01483 561119, firstname.lastname@example.org
09 August 2013