Middlesbrough’s Ayresome Gardens on Linthorpe Road has a new piece of play equipment thanks to the fundraising efforts of the local Asda’s Community Life Champion. Ayresome Gardens has been protected forever through Middlesbrough Council and Fields in Trust’s QEII Fields Challenge, which has Asda as its principal partner. Middlesbrough store’s Community Life Champion Jill Fidan smashed her fundraising target last summer, when all Asda stores raised funds for the Challenge. In recognition of her hard work the nearest QEII Field to her store, Ayresome Gardens on Linthorpe Road, has been given a celebratory gift by Fields in Trust.
On 11 July, representatives from Fields in Trust, Asda, and Middlesbrough Council celebrated the new piece of equipment, a toadstool seat for children.
“We’re delighted to be able to recognise both the hard work of the Community Life Champion and the connection between each Asda store and its local FIT field with the gift of these items. We hope that they bring the site users much enjoyment”, Helen Griffiths, CEO, Fields in Trust.
"Ayresome Gardens has undergone a number of improvement projects in recent years and this latest piece of equipment is another welcome addition. We are thankful to everyone who has contributed to make this possible and hope the Gardens will continue to be enjoyed by the whole community”, Councillor Tracy Harvey, Middlesbrough Council's Assistant Executive Member, Gresham Ward Councillor.
"This is an old established much-loved park in the heart of Middlesbrough. The protection given to it by Fields in Trust through the QEII Fields Challenge will ensure it remains a haven for many people in the town centre. The park's Friends' group is to be commended for its hard work and enthusiasm in ensuring it a wonderful asset to so many people from toddlers to the older generation. They have ambitious plans to renovate the children's play area and hopefully with grant aid, some support from Midlesborough Borough Council, and local fund raising this can be achieved. It was a real joy to visit Ayresome Gardens and to meet such a splendid team of dedicated people" David Jeffels, Fields in Trust trustee.
With the Duke of Cambridge’s patronage, and the support of principal partner Asda, the Queen Elizabeth II Fields Challenge was a living legacy programme to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Protecting outdoor recreational spaces across the UK, the Challenge gave local communities the chance to mark with these two historic events.