“When the forum was formed in 2014 we looked for a project that would provide a legacy for the residents of Haverhill South, something they could be proud of that would be there for years to come.”
After four years of dedication and hard work, Haverhill South People’s Forum has launched a BMX Pump Track for residents in their community.
It all started with deep engagement with the community to find out what they wanted. The events and conversations, which were driven by the People’s Forum and supported by Community Action Suffolk, brought a number of good ideas and key themes to the forefront.
The overwhelming response was that local people were looking for activities that would help to improve their health and wellbeing, as well as developing facilities for young people, who wanted something active to do in the area.
As part of the Local Conversation in Haverhill South, residents decided on three priorities for the neighbourhood: health and wellbeing, children and families and events to bring the community together. The Forum is putting together activities and events to look at how the priorities can be addressed.
At the time, there were skate park provisions only in the north of the town, and many felt it would be really beneficial to have a track on the south side too.
Haverhill South People’s Forum Chairman, David Smith, explains: "When the forum was formed in 2014 we looked, among other things, for a project that would provide a legacy for the residents of Haverhill South, something they could be proud of that would be there for years to come.
“It became obvious early on that a pump track was the clear favourite. This track came from an idea conceived by, fought for, and realised by the residents of Haverhill South with the help and support of many people.”
Residents have been involved in all aspects of the project, from the design of the track, to its upkeep and getting involved in user groups.
The BMX Pump track action group has led on meeting with the council, engaging with cycling based groups in the area and becoming a key voice in the community, particularly through social media platforms. One volunteer even produced a video advertising the BMX engagement event that was viewed over 3,000 times and shared by 60 people/groups.
The Forum continues to grow in confidence as they gain skills and experience through their involvement, from becoming more comfortable talking to residents to taking control and ownership of an area, such as the BMX track, and working alongside partners in the Council and the BMX contractors.
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