AUG 2017: Friends of Kingsdown Play Park

In February 2015, a group of local parents wanted to revamp their village’s tired and unused play park into an amazing new facility for the whole coastal community of Kingsdown, near Deal to enjoy.

Forming as a Community Group to begin with, they set out to raise the funds needed to achieve their goal. Wanting to progress further, the Friends of Kingsdown Play Park (FKPP) formed as a charity and were introduced to Funding for All by Dover organisation, CASE Kent for mentoring.

After Lisa Dennison’s (Chair, FKPP), initial meeting with Funding for All CEO, Nigel Turley, Nigel introduced Lisa to her assigned Funding Mentor, Karen Raeburn. Karen’s expert knowledge in Children and Young People, Older People and Training complemented FKPP requirements and the two began working together on grant searches and bid writing.

Unlike many of the groups Funding for All support, Lisa did have some experience in fundraising and bid writing through her previous role as Chair of registered charity, Kingsdown Pre-school so they got straight into applying for funds. At first, Karen met with Lisa to explore the history of FKPP and review grant applications Lisa had previously submitted. From this meeting, the two went on to communicate via email and draft grant applications together.

In total Lisa received 40 hours of mentoring from Karen and submitted 21 grant applications to a variety of local and national trusts and foundations including Awards for All, Kent Police Property Fund and Garfield Weston Foundation. Nine were successful and FKPP received the required funds for the completion of Phase One (installation of new play equipment and resurfacing).

‘[I’ve learnt] …to be patient and remain optimistic! I also write a much better grant bid now.’

Using the skills and knowledge Lisa learnt during her time with Karen, Lisa and the FKPP team have gone on to raise more funds through successful applications and fundraising events, have an active presence online through Facebook and the FKPP website and Lisa has shared her skills with colleagues. FKPP are still fundraising for Phases Two (play equipment for older children including a zip wire) and Three (outdoor gym equipment) through grant applications and events and hope to have Phase Two completed by Spring 2018.

‘We’re still going but we’re getting there and we’re certain we wouldn’t be as far as we are without the support of Karen.’

Lisa Dennison, Chair of FKPP.

Read more about Friends of Kingsdown Play Park here.

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