13th January 2017
Volunteers, park users and supporters got together at Port Sunlight River Park this week to celebrate the most recent accolade for the park – the Community Engagement Award from the 3rd Sector Care Awards.
Managed on a day-to-day basis by Autism Together, the park has become a thriving community space since it opened two years ago, and has helped to transform lives and support wildlife.
Ranger Anne Litherland works with a dedicated team of volunteers to keep the site at its best, with support from the Friends group and other local organisations and clubs. Many of the volunteers and visitors are Autism Together service users, and the benefits for them have been considerable.
Anne explained: “From inspiring people to stop and notice nature to encouraging teamwork among people who find social interaction challenging; Port Sunlight River Park has done so much good. It has become an important education and support facility for Autism Together, an outdoor classroom for schools, and a place for everyone in the community to enjoy.”
Carolyn Hassall, Project Manager at the Land Trust, added: “It really puts a smile on our faces when we hear about all the things they’ve done, from looking after the paths and signs to counting the birds and feeding the fox! It’s been a wonderful opportunity to say thank you to them all and hear their experiences of being outdoors and getting involved in nature, and we hope that many more people will enjoy the park over the years to come.”
It is a privilege to work for an organisation that puts communities at the heart of its work. The knowledge that I am helping to provide a better environment, especially in areas where open green space is in short supply, is what motivates and inspires me.
Victoria Webbon, Estates Officer
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