Local volunteers Friends of Bailey Park have received £1,000 from Monmouthshire Housing Association as part of a funding opportunity aimed at helping voluntary organisations.

The Friends of Bailey Park recently had the chance to take part in the “Pitch for your Project” funding opportunity.

Monmouthshire Housing Association aim to “build stronger communities, and to give people a place to belong, and a place to grow,” and the Friends of Bailey Park feel they are very much part of this community.

The Friends are keen to create a wildlife area near where the conifers were felled in Bailey Park last Autumn, to bring an increased feeling of well-being to visitors, for now and for the future, and to develop a tiny ecosystem for small mammals, birds, and pollinators.

Naturally, Spring bulbs such as bluebells, wood anemone, narcissus and wild flower seeds are very expensive to buy, especially for a small volunteer group, so they were delighted to find themselves taking part in Monmouthshire Housing Association’s ‘Pitch for your Project’ Final, with several other groups.

During their presentation at Monmouthshire Housing Association Headquarters, Friends of Bailey Park members told the panel what had already been achieved in the existing flowerbeds, and what their aims were for the Woodland area. They subsequently won £1,000, and this will go a long way towards purchasing the necessary bulbs.

Employees from Monmouthshire Housing Association also kindly offered their services in a practical way by using their Volunteer Days to help with digging and planting when needed. Plants were also bought in Abergavenny Market to place in Friends of Bailey Park’s “Supporting Ukraine” Planter by the Fairfield Park entrance, and to refill the planters on the railings to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

Friends of Bailey Park would especially like to thank Clare Evans and Rachel Barry from Monmouthshire Housing Association for helping to make all this possible.

Further improvements, with help and advice from Monmouthshire Housing Association and Gwent Association of Voluntary Organisations, are being planned in the Sensory Garden, to make it more wheelchair and family friendly. Thanks to Monmouthshire County Council the old planters are in the process of being replaced with new wood.

Friends of Bailey Park are still seeking more volunteers to help, so if you are interested, whatever your experience, please visit them in Bailey Park on any Monday or Thursday morning.