A Wetherby park that was blighted by vandalism and anti-social behaviour has been shortlisted for two national awards.
Sandringham Park is in the running for the Groundworks Best Contribution to Community Cohesion Award and the Fields in Trust UK’s Best Park.
Chairman of the Friends of Sandringham Park Coun Kazia Knight said: “We are absolutely thrilled to be in the final three.
“I believe our park stands out because of the innovative and creative ways we work and the partnerships we built with the whole of the Wetherby community and beyond.”
The Wetherby facility is one of only 13 green spaces in Yorkshire to be shortlisted in the Fields in Trust award, which values green spaces, and the public can play their part in the Wetherby park’s success by voting for it at www.fieldsintrust.org/bestpark/yorkshire.
The Friends of Sandringham park was born in 2010 because of the high levels of antisocial behaviour in the area.
Feeling that the police, youth service and town council seemed unable to deal with the issues, a group of 40 residents formed The Friends of Sandringham park to speak with the young people causing the issues and with residents and to improve relationships through intergenerational working.
The group cleaned up the park and removed 10 skips of rubbish and then started working with young people on projects such as seating, goal posts and a youth club.
As the behaviour vastly improved the group decided to host additional events, including the Big Lunch.
Kazia added: “We have won six green flag awards, two Yorkshire in bloom awards.
“This year we began a partnership with the Beaver Cub Scouts who make us bat boxes etc.
“We have also started a partnership with the Wetherby Young Offenders Institution (YOI) and the RHS. This allows them to work both inside and outside the YOI to learn skills, knowledge and confidence when they are released.
“The Park is now a real jewel in Wetherby’s crown.”