Lark in the Park

06 October 2016

From owl displays to a tug of war, there was plenty of fun to be had at Lark in the Park on Derby Arboretum.

Spiral Arts launched Cultivating Friends using £42,710 funding from People’s Health Trust, with money raised by HealthCalm through The Health Lottery.

Through the project, local residents are organising events in the park, working towards forming Friends of Derby Arboretum and creating a new community garden.

“There was a great energy on the day. We had 27 different stalls around the park including a tombola, art and crafts activities, storytelling, sports games, tug of war, Derbyshire Fire Service, a photography competition and an owl display.

“There was lots of music as well. We had performances from Eastern European band Muha, African band Arimba Arts, singer and guitarist Jayde Dakin, Baba Lula Arts singing group and Bhangra dancing from Shakti Arts.

“Cultivating Friends is bringing the whole community together. We’ve been working with St James’ Federation Schools, Madeley Youth Group, refugee group Upbeat Communities, older people’s group Harold Court, over 50s group GoldsQUAD and mental health group Rethink.

“The groups are starting to all mingle together. Residents are getting to know people from different groups, making new friendships and relationships, and hearing about other groups which they are able to join.

“From the project, we want to develop Friends of Derby Arboretum, which has 25 members at the moment. The new ‘Friends of Derby Arboretum’ will be looking for more members to help with future events planned for the park, and also showcasing their latest project the Community Garden. There will be an information and activity stall on the community garden run by members of the gardening group.

“Some of these members have been organising events like Spring Fest, Lark in the Park and the Luminate Lantern Festival which is taking place in November. Others are working on a community garden on land which used to be an old bowling green. There’s also an old building on the park which some of the group want to renovate, so they’re looking into that and there’s a fountain that needs cleaning and the plants around it need replanting.

“It’s been wonderful to have the funding to be able to do all of this and to have it over a longer period of time. For a lot of projects you can only get funding for a few months, so to have a 21-month project is brilliant. It means you can get to know people and build up relationships.”

Jenny Anthony, Spiral Arts Creative Director


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