Friends of Telegraph Hill Park is an unincorporated association established over 20 years ago when the local council partnered with local residents to put in a lottery bid for a £1.4m anniversary restoration of the classic Victorian park designed by JJ Sexby which had been seriously degraded over the latter half of the 20th century.
This significant lottery funding was obviously handled through the local council but the Friends of Telegraph Hill Park remains an indepdendently constituted body with its own a bank account for general fundraising (e.g. if people link through the website to Amazon the group earns commission). It holds quarterly meetings open to all residents with representatives from the park maintenance contractors, Glendale, and the council and has a good working relationship with these bodies and the local Ward Councillors.
Friends of Telegraph Hill Park mounts exhibitions and displays of the restoration project and its current work in a local annual festival and has a Facebook page, Telegraph Hill Park Voice, with 174 members, and key members of the group engage in discussion of park-related issues on the general Telegraph Hill Noticeboard with more than 8000 members.
It was the Friends of Telegraph Hill Park who, at the turn of the century when the restoration project was under way, established and managed the www.thehill.org.uk website with pages for the Parks, the Telegraph Hill Centre (a community centre adjacent to and associated with St. Catherine's Church), the Telegraph Hill Conservation Society and the Telegraph Hill Festival. Active discussion forums ensured engagement with local residents but this format was effectively rendered obsolete by Facebook. The domain name is maintained, as is the fundraising Amazon portal, but the website itself is currently undergoing a revamp.
The Friends of Telegraph Hill Park has set up this current fundraising intiative to reinstate a key element of the original restoration project, the meadow area, and to take the work done at that time on the younger children's play area a stage further with the provision of weather-proof ground surface. Despite the size of the lottery grant unexpected snags were encountered in the progress of the works and some of the planned provision could not be undertaken. We did not quite get to all we hoped to achieve and one of the corners that had to be cut was the use of grass matting in the Younger Children's play area rather than something more robust.